Homeowners have multiple system options when it comes to heating and cooling equipment. Most are familiar with furnaces and air conditioners, and air-to-air heat pump systems are growing in popularity, too.

There is another type of heat pump system you should also be aware of – geothermal systems. So, what is geothermal heating anyway? Rusk Heating and Cooling shares the details you need to know about this extremely efficient home comfort system.

What Is Geothermal Heating?

While furnaces, air conditioners, and some types of heat pumps are well known and widely used, many homeowners have questions when it comes to geothermal HVAC systems and how they operate. The answer is pretty straightforward – geothermal heating systems use natural energy found within the earth to heat the home.

With constant sunlight exposure, the ground absorbs a great deal of solar energy. This energy is held within the earth, keeping temperatures below ground a consistent 50 to 70 degrees throughout the year. With the right HVAC equipment, this energy can be gathered and used to heat the air needed to keep a home warm throughout the winter months.

Parts of a Geothermal Heating System

When learning about geothermal systems, it’s important to understand the parts of the system. Geothermal heating systems have three main components:

  • Ground loop
  • Geothermal heat pump
  • Air distribution system

Ground Loop

The ground loop is a critical component of any geothermal heating and cooling system. This system of connected pipes is buried below the ground and is the component used to collect energy from within the earth. The pipes are filled with circulating fluid that works to absorb the heat below ground. This fluid circulates through the ground loop up to the geothermal heat pump for use in home space heating.

Geothermal Heat Pump

The geothermal heat pump receives the thermal energy collected by the fluid in the ground loop. Its heat exchanger uses this energy to warm air passing through the system, transferring heat between the fluid and the air.

Air Distribution System

The air distribution system is simply a means of delivering heated air from the geothermal heat pump throughout the house. In a forced air system, this is ductwork – just like furnaces and air conditioners use. Geothermal heating systems can also be configured as radiant or hydronic systems that circulate the heated fluid through piping installed across the home and heat energy radiates into the air of a space.

Energy Efficiency of Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heat pumps are highly energy efficient. Geothermal heating systems can be as much as 400 to 600 percent energy efficient, meaning for every unit of electricity they use to operate, they produce 4 to 6 times as many units of heat energy for the home. Comparatively, the most efficient gas furnaces that can be installed in the home are only around 98 percent energy efficient, meaning there’s still about 2 percent waste for the energy consumed by the furnace.

Geothermal heat pump systems also offer cooling in the summer. To do so, the system simply absorbs heat from the air inside and transfers it through the ground loop where it is released into the earth as a holding receptacle. With a geothermal HVAC system, homeowners can generate substantial energy savings on both heating and cooling, reducing these costs as much as 50 to 60 percent each year.

Geothermal Heating System Installation in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

What is geothermal heating? How much money will a geothermal HVAC system save me? Can I install a geothermal system on my property? Rusk Heating and Cooling is here to answer all of these questions and more! For more information about geothermal heating systems or to request an estimate for geothermal heating installation at your home, contact us today.