What is Geothermal Energy?
What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy is brought from an inexhaustible energy source, the earth, into your home through geothermal heat pumps. Geothermal energy can be tapped into from almost anywhere.
What is a Geothermal Heat Pump?
A geothermal heat pump is an electronic machine that taps into the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business. A geothermal heat pump works like any other heat pump – it moves heat energy from one place to another. In other words, it transfers heat energy stored in the earth or in groundwater and transfers it into your home.
Heat is transferred from the earth to your home through a liquid medium (water or anti-freeze solution) and is pumped to the heat pump heat exchanger, which in turn is used to heat your home.
In the summer the process is reversed and heat is extracted from your home and transferred back to the earth. Your geothermal system both heats and cools, and you can switch between the two modes with a simple flick of a switch on your indoor thermostat. And yes, a heat pump provides sufficient energy to provide for all of your heating and cooling needs.
A geothermal heat pump is really like a refrigerator because it simply transfers heat from one place to another. When a refrigerator is operating, heat is carried away from the inside food storage area to the outside, i.e. your kitchen. Therefore, cooling is not being added to the refrigerator, but rather heat is being taken out of the refrigerator.
Heat Pump Types
There are two types of heat pumps: a Closed-Loop and Open-Loop system. Close Loop systems use buried plastic pipe as a heat exchanger. Open-loop systems use groundwater from a conventional well as a heat source in winter or a heat sink in summer.
Benefits of a Geothermal System as your energy source
- Inexpensive – A Geothermal energy system costs less to operate than any other heating and cooling system, including natural gas, oil, and propane. It is less expensive to operate because it is much more energy-efficient than these systems – it is 3.5 to 5 times more efficient than the most efficient fossil fuel furnace because instead of burning a combustible fuel to make heat, a geothermal system simply moves heat that already exists. A geothermal system can also save consumers up to 50% on their water heating bill.
- Short Payback Time – While a geothermal system is typically more expensive to install than a traditional heating and cooling system, it generally only takes between three and five years to make up the costs in reduced energy bills. After this initial payback period, the consumer saves money with this system. The lifetime savings of this system are enormous both financially and in regards to making the world a better place.
- Comfort Level – With a geothermal system, the temperature of the house is consistent from room to room rather than having pockets of heat and cool which are commonplace with fossil fuel furnaces.
- Tax Credit – You may be entitled to certain state and federal tax credits, please ask your representative for further information.
- Clean – Geothermal energy is not a fossil-fuel based energy like coal, gas or oil. This means that it produces little or no harmful emissions. In other words, with this energy you are doing your part for a cleaner environment.
- Easy on your Land – Installing a geothermal system will not cause any damage to your lawn.
- Renewable – Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that keeps on producing, which makes you personally and this country less dependent on fossil fuels.
Knight Top Line Geothermal Heat Pumps from ClimateMaster