The rise of environment-friendly appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, heating systems has made more and more homeowners realize and appreciate the importance of energy saving ratings. With newer “green” models, Juneau homeowners can now enjoy government kickbacks, lower utility bills, and a huge amount of savings from the use of these units. If you want to take it a step further, you can also take advantage of a kind of energy that is stored in the earth and is available to fuel and heat your home – geothermal heating.
Geothermal heating can be traced back from as early as the 3rd century B.C. in the form of hot spring bath houses. It was soon developed in the 1940’s with the introduction of the heat pump that made it possible for this natural resource to be turned into something usable. Here are some ways that geothermal heating is used in some homes today.
A Stable Resource
The earth’s surface features a constant and natural temperature ranging from 10 °C to 25°C regardless of the season of the year. During the winter season, the undersurface of the earth is warmer than the air above the ground. On the other hand, the ground is cooler during the heat of the summer. This temperature can be achieved by drilling the geothermal heat pumps down below the frost line so that it can use the core warmth and provide your home’s heating needs.
Works Like a Conventional Furnace
If you are familiar with how a conventional furnace works in your home, geothermal heating pretty much works the same way. Just like how a standard furnace is set up, your home uses ductwork and air flow. The only difference is that the source of fuel is not from gas or electricity but from the earth itself. Geothermal energy is also used to cool homes. The cooling process sends the warm air back into the ground or in some cases used to heat a hot water tank.
Electricity Powers the Heat Pump
The heat pump is powered by electricity and does the essential function of carrying a combination of water and refrigerant that cycle between the house and under the ground. There are different kinds of systems utilized by geothermal heating. A closed loop system keeps the fluid contained in the system and simply does ‘laps’. A horizontal loop system is what most houses use. This system operates under the surface of the earth in a horizontal pattern but is not set as deep into the earth. A vertical loop system is common in commercial building or apartments. This set up is a lot more expensive as the installation of the geothermal heat pump is extended deeper into the ground.
Savings are Real
As compared to the expenses that homeowners pay for when it comes to getting their standard furnace replaced, the implementation of a geothermal heating system in one’s home will definitely cost more because this is a more unique and specialized system. However, once the system is set in place and is already functional, homeowners can expect to earn savings of 30% – 70% on their utility bills. What makes this system even better is that it is virtually maintenance free and the heat pumps last around 20+ years! Combine all these benefits with the tax credits you get for having a geothermal heating system and all the expenses you paid for will all be worth your while.
Geothermal heating is in a way an old yet new technology. If more homeowners decide on harnessing the earth’s natural resources for their home’s energy consumption, it could give way to more services that will eventually help lower down prices – definitely a win-win situation.