Geothermal Heating and Cooling: How it Works

September 19, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Today’s economy and earth-conscious culture encourages more and more homeowners to consider alternative solutions to home heating and cooling. One solution that is gaining in popularity is geothermal heating and cooling.

Geothermal heating and cooling utilizes the temperature found underground throughout Charlotte, Gaston, Mecklenburg and Union, North Carolina. In fact, starting about 10 feet below the frost line, the entirety of the earth’s crust maintains a relatively stable temperature of about 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal heating and cooling systems operate by burying a loop of pipe under the ground and using a heat pump to disperse the warmed or cooled air throughout the home.

The pipes are filled with either water or a water and antifreeze solution. The loop may be laid out horizontally or buried straight down, up to 400 or 500 feet. Connected to the pipe loop is a heat pump. In warm weather, the air above ground is generally warmer than that below. The pump draws warm air from inside the building and transfers the heat to the pipe loops while bringing the cool air from below ground up into the building. The pump then circulates the cool air throughout the building. In cool weather, the underground temperature is generally warmer than the air above ground. Cool air is drawn out of the house and replaced by air warmed underground.

The number one advantage to this system is that even when the air being circulated through the house must be additionally cooled or heated after being drawn from underground, it takes far less energy to do so. Over time, this will translate into significant cost savings.

For more information about geothermal heating and cooling, or to make a consultation appointment, contact Ross & Witmer today.

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