The Basics of Geothermal Technology
Conventional air-to-air heat pumps suffer a significant loss of efficiency when subjected to the extreme temperatures of winter and summer. However, geothermal systems use the earth itself as the energy transfer medium, which is far more efficient since the ground maintains a stable temperature all year round. Geothermal HVAC systems contain three basic components that differentiate them from conventional heat pumps:
- The Conduit: The conduit serves as a pathway between the ground and the condensing coil to facilitate the transfer of energy.
- The Distribution Network: The distribution portion of the system includes the air handler and evaporator coil.
- Condensing Unit: The condenser houses the compressor, condensing coil and other components required to accommodate the refrigeration cycle.
From an operational standpoint, a geothermal HVAC system is similar to an air-source heat pump in many respects. What sets the geothermal process apart is the specially designed loop system heat exchanger. As with a conventional heat pump, a geothermal HVAC contractor can configure a unit to provide forced-air heating, radiant heating and air conditioning.
The unique heat exchange system is connected to the ground through a specially designed polyethylene piping network. Two primary configurations are available, including open and closed loop systems. Open loop systems require a water source while closed loop systems utilize an antifreeze solution that is circulated repeatedly through the piping grid. Due to reliability and convenience, closed loop systems have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Benefits of Geothermal Cooling and Heating
Also known as ground source heat pumps, these units provide many benefits when compared to conventional heating and cooling equipment. In Tallahassee, the ambient outdoor temperature can change by over 50 degrees between the highs of summer and lows of winter. In contrast, the ground temperature below the frost line barely changes at all. This temperature stability is the reason why a geothermal heat pump can save up to 40 percent in operating costs when compared to a comparable 13 SEER air-source heat pump. The enhanced efficiency reduces run-time cycles, which ultimately lowers repair costs and extends the life of the equipment. Those interested in shrinking their carbon footprint are also attracted to the low emissions associated with geothermal technology. In fact, the EPA has identified geothermal heat pumps as having the lowest CO2 emissions in the industry.
Installation and Service Advanced Air Care Heating and Cooling
provides complete geothermal HVAC services for residents in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. If you are interested in learning more about the best in cooling and heating efficiency, call one of our friendly comfort specialists today.