Geothermal heating and cooling is a renewable source used to condition buildings. It uses the earth’s temperature along with a heat pump to heat and cool living or work spaces. In the western US as with many other areas in the world, the heat is held in the ground nearer to the surface, which may make geothermal heating more desirable.
The process to install geothermal requires drilling into the earth’s surface to tap into the earth’s heat for the ground sourced heat pump to do its intended job. To have this installed at your home or place of business it may mean that the surrounding landscaping or even paved areas may need to be dug up to get the geothermal system installed. This is all able to be reconstructed after the installation.
It is important to note that just about wherever you are located a ground source heat pump coupled with a geothermal system and solar energy can dramatically reduce or even eliminate dependence on other energy sources.
What is a Heat Pump? – This is an established way of heating and cooling properties, but to some this may be new. The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump. This equipment transfers heat between your house and the outside air. If you heat with electricity, a heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 50%-75%. The Geothermal heat pump is a little different.
Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) and Geothermal: Much like air-source heat pump, the ground source heat pump uses the ground instead of the atmosphere to transfer heat. The heat pump used for geothermal is a called a ground source heat pump.
There are two specific types of ground-sourced heat pumps used in geothermal installations. These geothermal heat pumps use water or refrigerant to transfer the heat instead of air and they both differ.
The Ground sourced heat pump that uses the water medium circulates water in plastic pipes that have been placed in holes in the ground to transfer the heat for conditioning a space.
The holes can be bored: Straight Down or Horizontally
Distance of drilling required: Requires a drilling depth of 300 feet/per ton of cooling
The Ground sourced heat pump that uses refrigerant circulates it in copper tubes also placed in holes in the ground to transfer the heat for conditioning a space.
The holes can be bored: Straight down, horizontally or diagonally (more flexibility in the way the holes are drilled).
Distance of drilling required: Typical drilling depth is 150 feet/per ton of cooling (half the requirement of the water medium heat pump).
From a clearly financial standpoint the refrigerant based system costs less because the depth of the drilling is half the distance (drilling is charged by the foot) and it also does not require a circulating pump. Since copper is a better thermal conductor the temperature difference to the earth can be greater (which makes the refrigerant based system a more efficient medium for heat transfer).
Read the following article by John Tomczyk about geothermal and it is instrumental in better understanding how these systems work.
For a limited time the Federal Government is offering a 30% tax credit (without any cap) on geothermal heat pump cooling and heating systems. With the current government and economy it is unclear how long rebates and tax credits will remain available to the public. The 30% credit with no cap is very desirable, and this is why people are choosing to have this installed this year.
Commercial locations looking to install geothermal can also get a lease program through a Cold Craft, Inc. to increase cash flow.
Geothermal heating is a fairly involved process and an investment. For more information about the process and a free estimate for those that qualify, please give us a call to learn more at (408) 374-7292 or check out geothermal on our site.
If you need help with temperature, contact Cold Craft, Inc.
408.374.7292 or [email protected]