The Basic Science of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Quite a few residents here in Hart, Michigan, have enlisted Adams Heating & Cooling II to upgrade their homes to geothermal homes. Still unsure about geothermal heating and cooling yourself? Knowing something of the science behind it – and the mechanics as well – may help.

We’ve mentioned elsewhere the advantages of geothermal heating and cooling. Suffice it to say here that almost no other means of maintaining apleasant home environment all year long are as efficient, reliable, or ultimately budget-friendly, especially when you size up the energy savings.

Here’s how geothermal makes that possible.

Thar’s Gold Heat in Them Thar Hills!

We mine the earth for precious metals. We drill the earth for oil. Now, to an extraordinary degree, we’re tapping the earth for something no doubt just as valuable to most of us: the energy to heat and cool our homes that doesn’t entail oil.

You see, close beneath the earth’s crust – that would be roughly 33,000 feet under our feet – is a stratum of magma. This is a molten and semi-molten blend, principally of silicates, in which temperatures run from 1300 degrees Fahrenheit to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit and hotter the deeper you go (not that you’d want to go there!). What this serves to do is keep the ground immediately under the earth’s surface at a year-round temperature of between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The upshot? Underground temperatures in Hart (and most places stateside, in any event) are warmer than the ambient air above ground in Winter and cooler than the ambient air above ground in Summer.

Time to Get Pumped!

The job, then, of a geothermal heating and cooling system is to|Underground temperatures being what they are, then, it’s the function of a geothermal heating and cooling system to transfer heat from the ground  to your home or heat from your home to the ground, as the season dictates. Either way, your home is maintained at an optimal temperature to keep you and your family comfortable month after month.

The mechanism that accomplishes the transfer is a geothermal heat pump. It continuously circulates water or some solution (commonly antifreeze) between your home and loops of pipe (commonly fabricated of polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, PVC, or CPVC) placed in the ground. In Winter, the liquid is cold when it enters the ground. As it travels through the loops, it sucks up heat from the earth and is reintroduced to your home warm. In Summer, the process is reversed: warm liquid goes into the loops, where it takes in the cooler ground temperatures before it’s returned to your home. Want details? You’ll find more comprehensive information on ground loops here.

The key point is that geothermal heating and cooling systems don’t produce energy. They’re not like central heating systems, which generate heat themselves. Instead, geothermal systems heat and cool your home by making use of the energy already richly available beneath the earth’s surface. That’s why geothermal systems don’t only run quieter but also prove a lot more reliable, need less maintenance, have much longer lifespans, and are more environmentally friendly than old-school HVACs. That’s also why, ultimately, you’ll save a great deal more more money by going geothermal.

Curious now? Get together with Adams Heating & Cooling II, your Hart geothermal heating and cooling professional, today.