What’s a Geothermal HVAC System and How Does It Work?

Geothermal HVAC systems are rapidly gaining in popularity in Quitman, Georgia. That’s because they utilize underground heat to warm and cool your home. As a result, they’re remarkably energy-efficient, long-lasting and better for the environment than traditional HVAC systems. Read on to learn what a geothermal HVAC system is and how it works to provide home comfort.

What’s a Geothermal HVAC System?

A geothermal HVAC system, also referred to as a ground-source heat pump, is a clean and efficient heating and cooling system. Electrically powered, a geothermal HVAC system moves energy between your home and the earth. By transferring and concentrating underground heat, which remains between 50 and 60 degrees throughout the year, a geothermal system can heat and cool your home.

How Does a Geothermal System Work?

A typical geothermal HVAC system consists of three main parts: a ground loop system filled with a water solution, an air handling system and a heat pump. During the winter, the water solution in the ground loop absorbs heat from the ground. The warm water solution then flows through the system’s in-ground pipes and into your home.

Once the warm water solution reaches your house, a water-to-air heat pump concentrates the heat energy and sends it into the air through the home’s ductwork system. That warm air then circulates throughout the house, heating it. In the summer, the process reverses. The system cools your home by pumping excess heat out and into the ground.

In addition to heating and cooling the air in your home, geothermal systems can also provide hot water. A desuperheater, a device that recycles excess heat and uses it to heat water, is the water heating component of a geothermal system. It channels the excess heat produced by the HVAC system into your home’s water heater. On average, desuperheaters provide about 50 percent of a home’s hot water needs. A traditional water heater provides the rest.

Closed and Open Loops

Consumers have a few decisions to make when it comes to geothermal HVAC installation, including whether to install an open- or a closed-loop system. That said, about 85 percent of geothermal units in the United States utilize a closed loop. Closed loops are filled with a refrigerant that transfers the ground temperature to the heat pump. They’re installed either vertically or horizontally depending on your yard, but vertical installation is by far the most common.

Open-loop systems need access to plenty of groundwater, which is why they’re not as common. An open-loop system connects directly to a groundwater source. The system pumps the groundwater into the heat pump inside the home where it’s used to heat and cool the house.

Benefits of a Geothermal System

Here are some benefits of installing a geothermal system in your home:

Last a Long Time

Since geothermal systems have few moving parts and are largely protected from the elements, they have long lifespans and typically require little maintenance. The indoor components last for about 25 years, while the outdoor components can last for 50 years or longer.

Energy Efficient

Geothermal HVAC units are remarkably energy-efficient. They use 30 to 60 percent less energy to heat your home than a traditional HVAC system and about 20 to 50 percent less energy to cool it. Over time, this amounts to a huge reduction in energy usage that will drastically lower your utility bills, helping you recoup a large portion of your installation expenses.

Better for the Environment

A geothermal unit doesn’t burn fossil fuels. As a result, it produces fewer greenhouse emissions than a traditional heating system. It also delivers better air quality since it doesn’t emit carbon dioxide. However, the heat pump unit does use electricity, which may be generated using fossil fuels to operate. That said, choosing a geothermal unit will help lighten the load on electric grids during peak demand and greatly decrease your carbon footprint.

Are you ready to learn more about geothermal systems or talk about having one installed in your home? Give the HVAC experts at Waller Heating & Air Conditioning a call at (229) 375-5040. We’d love to discuss the benefits and installation procedure with you.

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