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How Geothermal Heating Works

If you walk outside on a cold day and stand on a bare patch of ground, you may wonder how you could extract heat from it use it to warm your house. However, geothermal heat pumps work with incredible efficiency that you won’t find in many other heating systems. Where standard heat pumps, which use the air as their source for heat exchange,  lose efficiency in very cold weather, geothermal heat pumps do not encounter the same problem because the temperature under the earth stays the same year round.

We’ll explain the operation of geothermal heating (which also applies to cooling) so you’ll understand some of its benefits. Call SPS Mechanical Inc. for more information, and to set up an appointment to see if a geothermal heat pump will work where you live.

Geothermal Heat

The earth itself is a source of heat: the core radiates warmth out toward the planet’s surface, and the continental plates float around on a molten sea. Although you can’t sense this from just walking around on the surface, you will notice it if you dig down only 10 feet. At this point, the temperature stabilizes to around fifty degrees, and does not fluctuate much, regardless of the chill of the air above. A geothermal system exploits this temperature stability and uses it as the medium for the heat exchange in its heat pump.

Underground pipes, called loop fields, are buried down in the earth near a home. Vertical loops will be buried deep, but horizontal loop systems won’t require as much digging to install. Antifreeze flows through these loops, and it absorbs heat from the earth.  The heat is than transferred to your heat pump system via a heat exchanger, and the heat pump uses that heat to warm the air that is then distributed throughout your ducts. (During the summer, the process reverses, and heat is removed from the home and put into the ground.)

Air-source heat pumps lose efficiency when the temperature drops below freezing, but geothermal heat pumps won’t have this problem because the ground provides a consistent temperature (usually around 55°F) . The geothermal pump also operates almost silently and works so efficiently that it can usually pay for itself with energy savings in 5–10 years. Geothermal heating is also beneficial to the environment, with almost zero emissions.

Professional Geothermal Installation

Only professional geothermal installers can correctly perform the job of setting up a system for you. Installers can also determine if geothermal will work for your location, since not every home is ideally situated for this type of heating.

SPS Mechanical Inc. has geothermal experts ready to help you if you are interested using the power of the earth for heating in Sicklerville, NJ. Call us today.

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