Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

The Benefits of Geothermal Energy

Jesse Cook

Sick of high heat bills in winter and outrageous cooling costs in the summer?

There is a solution that cools and heats your home more quickly and for less money. It’s called geothermal energy.

Geothermal systems take advantage of the unlimited, free energy from the earth. They provide even, constant temperatures year-round as well as complete humidity control for your home—and they’re the best option for unparalleled energy savings and operating efficiency.

How it Works

The earth absorbs approximately 47% of all incident solar energy and stores this free thermal energy beneath our feet. So, even though the air temperature is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, the ground temperature just a few feet below the surface is relatively constant year-round. Geothermal systems take advantage of this by transferring the warmer energy into our homes in the winter and reversing the process in the summer. In essence, the earth is a large solar collector and storage battery, with more than enough thermal energy for everyone.


How the Geothermal System Works

Three basic components make up a geothermal system. They are:

1) The ground loop heat exchanger, 2) the ground source heat pump and 3) the distribution system (ductwork, radiant flooring, fan coil, etc.).

The ground loop is the interface with the earth that transfers energy via a freeze-resistant solution pumped through the exchanger at a high velocity. Several ground loop types and designs are available to match the unique properties of each project (see below).

The ground source heat pump utilizes a refrigeration circuit to extract thermal energy from the ground loop and transfer it to the distribution system during the winter months to warm the home. During the summer, this process is reversed to cool the home.

The distribution system quietly delivers heat throughout the home, creating a very even and controlled temperature. Air-based systems use duct work, while radiant flooring or fan coils distribute heat with a water-based hydronic system.

Environmental Benefits

According to the EPA, geothermal systems are “the most environmentally friendly way to condition our homes” since they need only a small heat pump to operate and give off no combustion emissions. Further, since a geothermal system only moves heat from beneath us into our homes, no energy is created by burning fuels or by using standard electrical consumption. Removing the combustion process from heating reduces our dependence on foreign oil and eliminates the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Cost Savings

Geothermal systems can reduce heating costs up to almost 80%. The EPA shows that homeowners using geothermal energy save an average of roughly $1,500 annually compared to those using traditional heating or cooling methods.

Another significant cost-savings benefit of geothermal systems is the longevity of the equipment. Geothermal components last on average for 25 to 50 years; that’s typically at least 10 years longer than an average furnace or conventional AC unit. The EPA also shows that homeowners save roughly $1,500 annually compared to conventional systems.

Which Geothermal System is Right for Me?

The most common loop design utilizes an excavator to bury the heat exchanger horizontally in the ground approximately 6ft deep.

An abundant supply of high-quality water can be used to operate the heat pump. Water is pulled from a well and discharged into either a pond, stream or another well.

This loop allows smaller properties to take advantage of geothermal technology. A drilling rig is used to bury the heat exchanger vertically in the ground.

The most cost-effective strategy submerges the heat exchanger in a large body of water (because no digging or drilling is needed). Most homes require a half-acre pond with a ten foot minimum depth for proper operation.

A geothermal system can bring you the cost savings and low environmental impact that you’ve been looking for in a heating and cooling system. It’s reliable, consistent and easy to maintain over time. And it may just be the solution you need.

To learn more please visit:

Jesse Cook is the owner of Geotherm, New York’s most trusted renewable energy experts.

The company is committed to high-quality, cost-effective energy reduction solutions for home owners, builders, municipalities, business owners, and communities. As the premiere resource for “green” energy alternatives, they help homeowners significantly reduce utility costs with environmentally responsible systems and products.

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