The Basic Science of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

A number of homeowners here in Michigan, Michigan, have sought Kozy Home Heating & Cooling to turn their homes into geothermal homes. Still wary of geothermal heating and cooling yourself? Comprehending a smidgen of the science behind it – and the mechanics as well – would probably help.

We’ve noted elsewhere the advantages of geothermal heating and cooling. It’s quite sufficient to say here that few other methods of maintaining a comfortable home environment all year long are as efficient, dependable, or affordable, especially when you take into account 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, as never before, we’re tapping the earth for something probably just as valuable to the majority of us: the energy to heat and cool our homes that doesn’t entail oil.

You see, right beneath the earth’s crust – we’re talking no more than 33,000 feet under our feet – is a mantle of magma. This is a molten and semi-molten brew, for the most part comprised of silicates, in which temperatures vary 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 reasonably consistent year-round temperature of between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. So? Underground temperatures in Michigan (and pretty much everywhere stateside, in any event) 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 task, then, of a geothermal heating and cooling system is to|Underground temperatures being what they are, then, it’s the job of a geothermal heating and cooling system to transfer heat from the ground  to your home or heat from your home to the ground, in accordance with the season. Either way, your home stays at the ideal temperature to keep you and your family comfy all year long.

The appiance that executes the transfer is a geothermal heat pump. It continuously circulates water or some blend (commonly antifreeze) between your home and loops of piping (commonly made of polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, PVC, or CPVC) buried in the ground. In Winter, the liquid is cold when it enters the ground. As it flows through the loops, it assimilates heat from the earth and is reintroduced to your home warm. In Summer, the process is reversed: warm liquid enters the loops, where it assimilates the cooler ground temperatures before it’s returned to your home. Looking for details? You’ll find more comprehensive information on ground loops here.

The salient point is that geothermal heating and cooling systems don’t produce energy. They aren’t like central heating systems, which generate heat themselves. Instead, geothermal systems heat and cool your home by putting to use the energy already richly available beneath the earth’s surface. That’s why geothermal systems are not only quieter but also considerably more dependable, need less maintenance, have significantly longer lifespans, and are more environmentally friendly than standard HVACs. That’s also why, ultimately, you’ll save a great deal more more money by going geothermal.

Curious now? See Kozy Home Heating & Cooling, your Michigan geothermal heating and cooling authority, today.