The Basic Science of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

More than a few residents here in Reading, Pennsylvania, have engaged Paul W. Essig Inc. to transform their homes into geothermal homes. Still leery of geothermal heating and cooling yourself? Comprehending some of the science behind it – and the mechanics as well – may help.

We’ve discusseded elsewhere the merits of geothermal heating and cooling. It’s enough to say here that few other manner of maintaining apleasant home environment all year long are as efficient, trustworthy, or ultimately thrifty, especially when you size up the energy savings.

Here’s how geothermal works that magic.

Thar’s Gold Heat in Them Thar Hills!

We tap the earth for precious metals. We tap the earth for oil. Now, more than ever, we’re tapping the earth for an asset no doubt just as valuable to many of us: the energy to heat and cool our homes that doesn’t necessitate oil.

You see, right under the earth’s crust – we’re talking no more than 33,000 feet under our feet – is a stratum of magma. This is a molten and semi-molten blend, principally of silicates, in which temperatures run 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 year-round temperature of between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The upshot? Underground temperatures in Reading (and most places stateside, as it were) 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 purpose, then, of a geothermal heating and cooling system is to|Underground temperatures being what they are, then, it’s the function 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 environment remains at the perfect temperature to keep you and your family happy all year long.

The device that executes the transfer is a geothermal heat pump. It continuously circulates water or some mixture (usually antifreeze) between your home and loops of piping (usually 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 courses through the loops, it assimilates heat from the earth and is reintroduced to your home warm. In Summer, the process is reversed: warm liquid is brought into the loops, where it takes in the cooler ground temperatures before it’s returned to your home. Need details? You’ll find more thorough information on ground loops here.

The central 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 employing the energy already abundantly available beneath the earth’s surface. That’s why geothermal systems not only run quieter but also are considerably more dependable, need less maintenance, have much longer lifespans, and are more environmentally friendly than old-school HVACs. That’s also why, over time, you’ll save much more more money by going geothermal.

Curious now? Get hold of Paul W. Essig Inc., your Reading geothermal heating and cooling professional, today.