The Essential Guide to Geothermal Energy

Looking for a greener option to heat and cool your South Florida home? Look no further than geothermal energy. Geothermal energy refers to the method of controlling the temperature inside your home utilizing the energy produced by the Earth’s core. Instead of relying on energy produced from limited fossil fuel resources, this energy source is constantly replenished, and the best part is that this energy is free. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about geothermal energy and if it’s right for your home.

How Geothermal Energy Works

You may be wondering how geothermal energy works to make this type of heating and cooling system even possible. Just a few feet below the Earth’s surface, the temperature remains a constant 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of changing air temperatures throughout the year. This is because the Earth’s core generates a massive amount of heat that radiates through its layers toward the surface.

Geothermal energy takes advantage of this free source of energy and harnesses it as a green energy source that can be used in homes and on a larger scale, provide power to facilities that would normally use fossil fuels to generate electricity.

How Geothermal Energy is Harnessed for Home Use

You can now harness the power of geothermal energy by having a ground source heat pump installed at your home. This heat pump uses the simple science of heat transfer to keep the air in your home at a constant temperature when it is run continuously. Heat pumps are run by electricity but the amount used is minimal in comparison to what traditional heating and cooling systems would use to keep your home comfortable.

The heat pump used using a geothermal system will consist of three main components:

  • Heat sink. The installers will drill a hole at least 10 feet into the ground at your home and install a loop of piping that will contain the liquid needed to run the system. This liquid will transport the heat energy back and forth between your home and the ground. Depending on the type of system, the liquid may be a mix of antifreeze and water, or just plain water.
  • Heat pump. The heat pump is installed above ground and keeps the fluid flowing through the system. It is important to remember that this unit needs to be maintained on annual basis just as you would a traditional heater or air conditioning unit. With proper maintenance, the life expectancy of the average geothermal heat pump is at 25 years, which is longer than most other traditional heating and cooling equipment.
  • Distribution unit. This component works with the home’s ductwork using a blowing motor to disperse the heated or cooled air that is similar to how a traditional heater or central air system would use a blower motor.

Which Type of Energy is Best to Keep Your Home Comfortable?

When you want to cool your home, the heat pump will absorb the heat in the air from inside and transfer it via the liquid circulating in the system where it is dispersed outdoors. The liquid running through the piping in the ground is cooled and pumped through the system, providing cooled air in the home.

If you need to make your home warmer on the occasional cool evening in south Florida, you can switch the pump into heat mode and it will then reverse the process by absorbing the heat from the ground. The heat is then transported and dispersed into your home via the liquid and the cooler air inside is drawn to the outdoors.

If you have questions regarding how geothermal energy can work for your home, contact our team at Engineered Air. We can show you how you can save money while doing something good for the environment.