As the seasons change from spring to winter, temperature fluctuates throughout the year. Some climates can vary from scorching summers to chilly winters; Mitchell included. Did you know there is a pretty constant temperature, regardless of climate or season, just below the ground?
The Earth's crust takes in 47% of the sun's heat (energy) and is maintained in the ground a few feet below the surface. Geothermal systems tap into this free heat source with an earth loop. This innovative technology reclaims the sun's heat supplying your home or office with central heating and cooling.
Using the earth loop, a geothermal heat pump takes the heat from the ground in the heating cycle. The geothermal system draws the heat from the loops and delivers this warmed air through a classic duct system. Additional choices include using that same heat to provide hot water and radiant floor heating are available.
The heating process is reversed in the cooling mode - creating cold, conditioned air all through the home. Instead of extracting heat from the ground, heat is taken from the air in your home and either moved back into the earth loop, or used to preheat the water in your hot water tank.
The fall season is a good reminder that it's time to begin thinking about the task of heating your home throughout the winter. According to the Department of Energy, the average family in the United States spends roughly $1,900 a year on utility bills. Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. The secret to saving energy and money is to search for energy efficient improvements for your home.
A geothermal home comfort system uses the abundant source of free solar heat energy trapped in the earth. It uses a series of pipes (also known as an earth loop) buried in the ground to move that heat into a home during the winter. Most systems are easy to install in either new or retrofit situations. In addition to an open or closed loop well system, the air exchanger system also requires ductwork to dispense conditioned air through the home or business.
Although the original investment in a geothermal system may be greater than the investment in a standard system, the long-term return on that investment ensures it is one worth making. The energy source is both free and renewable, and the average system lifespan exceeds 24 years—compared to 15 years for a regular system.
For most homes, the payments connected with installing the new system will be completely covered by the monthly savings from having an energy-efficient geothermal system. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deems geothermal one of the most proficient heating and cooling systems offered.
Installation of a geothermal system begins with an installation plan from your preferred HVAC contractor. He will measure your home, analyze your heating and cooling needs and review your property to suggest the best location for your loop system. If your house doesn't have a preexisting duct system, your geothermal dealer can easily retrofit your home and provide one.
Once installed, a geothermal system needs less maintenance than an original heating and cooling system and functions more efficiently, delivering an impressive five units of energy per one unit of electrical energy used. That converts to a 500 percent efficiency rating and savings up to 70 percent for utility expenses.
Another benefit -- geothermal systems use no fossil fuel and give off no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gases. Homeowners experience added comfort, improved indoor air quality and less noise as they minimize their carbon footprint.