Geothermal Heating Systems
As the name implies, Geothermal means “Earth Heat,” coming from the Greek words “Geo,” meaning earth, and “thermos,” meaning heat. There is a difference between geothermal heating and cooling and geothermal energy. They both use energy from the Earth, but in a slightly different way.
Natural Energy Source
Geothermal energy uses the constant temperature of the Earth to produce heat, rather than the outside air used by other heating systems. An example of this is the magma, or liquid rock that comes from Earth’s core through openings and flows to the surface from volcanos. Geysers and hot springs can also be created with this kind of energy.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Geothermal heating and cooling is a different way to harness heat from the Earth. For example, geothermal heating in Norfolk, VA, doesn’t actually use geothermal energy, but what is typically called ground source energy. This is why geothermal heat pumps are sometimes called ground source heat pumps. They rely on the sun, which heats the ground at the Earth’s surface, instead of the heat coming from beneath the surface. The sun’s energy is much more accessible, so geothermal heat pumps are in use all over the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Whether it’s the scorching heat of high noon in the summer or subzero cold in the winter, the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature just a few feet below the Earth’s surface. The ground temperatures range from 45 to 75 degrees F throughout the year. The subsurface temperature is always warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air above it in the summer. The geothermal heat pump takes advantage of this through a ground heat exchanger.
Advantages of Geothermal Heat Pumps
Just like any other heat pumps, properly sized Portsmouth, VA, geothermal and water-source heat pumps are able to cool, heat and supply the property with hot water. There are many advantages to switching to a geothermal heating system.
Unlike an air source heat pump, the geothermal heat pump is quieter and lasts longer without needing much maintenance or depending on the temperature of the outside air. Dual-source heat pumps have higher efficiency ratings than air-source units, but they’re not as efficient as geothermal units. The main advantage of dual-source systems is that they cost much less to install than a single geothermal unit, and work almost as well. Even though the estimated installation price of a geothermal system can run several times that of an air-source system of the same heating and cooling capacity, the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5 to 10 years. System life is estimated at 30 years for the inside components and more than 60 years for the ground loop.
To learn more about how a geothermal heating and cooling system can save you money on your home’s energy bills, call A-1 American today at 757-425-2400.