The Basic Science of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Scores of people here in Van Buren, Arkansas, have signed on with American Energy Guard to transform their homes into geothermal homes. Still suspicious of geothermal heating and cooling yourself? Comprehending a little of the science behind it – and the mechanics as well – might help.

We’ve mentioned elsewhere the rewards of geothermal heating and cooling. Suffice it to say here that few other methods of maintaining an agreeable home environment throughout the year are as efficient, trustworthy, or affordable, especially when you tally up the energy savings.

Here’s how geothermal makes that a reality.

Thar’s Gold Heat in Them Thar Hills!

We mine the earth for precious metals. We drill the earth for oil. Now, as never before, we’re tapping the earth for something no doubt just as valuable to many of us: the energy to heat and cool our homes that doesn’t entail oil.

You see, close beneath the earth’s crust – that would be, oh, say, 33,000 feet under our feet – is a mantle of magma. This is a molten and semi-molten brew, principally of silicates, in which temperatures range from 1300 degrees Fahrenheit to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit and hotter the deeper you go (not that you’d want to go there!). What this does is keep the ground immediately under the earth’s surface at a reasonably constant year-round temperature of between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. So? Underground temperatures in Van Buren (and pretty much everywhere stateside, in any event) are warmer than the ambient air above ground in Winter and cooler than the ambient air above ground in Summer.

Time to Get Pumped!

The task, then, of a geothermal heating and cooling system is to|Underground temperatures being what they are, then, it’s the task of a geothermal heating and cooling system to transfer heat from the ground  to your home or heat from your home to the ground, as the season dictates. Either way, your home’s interior remains at an optimal temperature to keep you and your family in comfort throughout the year.

The device that performs the transfer is a geothermal heat pump. It continuously circulates water or some solution (predominantly antifreeze) between your home and loops of piping (predominantly made of polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, PVC, or CPVC) installed in the ground. In Winter, the liquid is cold when it enters the ground. As it flows through the loops, it assimilates heat from the earth and is reintroduced to your home warm. In Summer, the process is reversed: warm liquid enters the loops, where it assimilates the cooler ground temperatures before it’s returned to your home. Want details? You’ll find more comprehensive information on ground loops here.

The principal point is that geothermal heating and cooling systems don’t produce energy. They don’t work like central heating systems, which generate heat themselves. Instead, geothermal systems heat and cool your home by making use of the energy already abundantly available beneath the earth’s surface. That’s why geothermal systems are not only quieter but also much more trustworthy, need less maintenance, have significantly longer lifespans, and are more environmentally friendly than standard HVACs. That’s also why, over time, you’ll save lots more more money by going geothermal.

Curious now? Consult with American Energy Guard, your Van Buren geothermal heating and cooling specialist, today.