What geothermal energy is and it’s basics

geothermal

We may deal with season to season temperature swings here in Oklahoma, as does anywhere else here above the earth’s surface. But did you know that about ten feet below the surface, the temperature constantly remains between 50ºF and 60ºF, no matter the time of year or what the weather is doing? It is this constant temperature that provides the green, renewable and sustainable properties of geothermal energy. And you can harness that energy for use in your home to keep it comfortable all year round! Here’s how it works.

GEOTHERMAL HEATING & COOLING

Geothermal energy, in essence, provides your home with remarkably efficient heating and cooling by using the underground energy and sending it to your home for use all year round.

For homes, this is done through a heat exchanger — which is a series of pipes that are installed deep into the ground. This heat exchanger carries the air from your home down into the ground, and brings it to the desired temperature before sending it to a second unit called a heat pump, which will distribute your conditioned air throughout the ductwork and vents of your home.  Both the heat exchanger and heat pump work in conjunction to create a “refrigeration cycle”  that consists of evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion, to harness geothermal energy and provide year round heating and cooling.

WHAT MAKES GEOTHERMAL ENERGY DIFFERENT?

The main differentiator between geothermal energy and more traditional furnaces and air conditioners for heating and cooling your home is that a geothermal system requires significantly less electricity than traditional methods to create the heat that is used to keep your home comfortable. A geothermal energy system requires a water mixture to run through the heat exchanger (this is usually a suspension of water and antifreeze or refrigerant), and electricity for the heat pump and blower fans and heat exchanger. This makes geothermal systems significantly less expensive to operate, and since geothermal energy does not require any combustion fuel, it is a much more environmentally friendly energy source.

HOW MUCH WILL GEOTHERMAL SAVE ME?

We have seen a ClimateMaster geothermal heat pump system installed by our experienced DeHart technicians save our customers up to 80% on their annual energy costs! Using the ClimateMaster savings calculator to determine the environmental impact of a geothermal system, projections show a 25% decrease in your carbon footprint when you use a geothermal heat pump system in your home:

The benefits of heating and cooling your home with geothermal energy are clear from an environmental and financial standpoint. Plus, the expected lifespan of a geothermal heat pump is longer than that of other traditional air conditioners or furnaces! With little required maintenance, you can rely on a geothermal heat pump to provide energy savings and home comfort for decades to come.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL A GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP?

Installation of the ground loop of a geothermal heat pump from the home comfort pros at DeHart requires a drilling contractor to come in & drill a series of holes, before placing the loops in those holes and sealing them with a bentonite grout material. Then, supply and return piping is run between the drilled holes and the house. Once the drilling and header piping has all been installed and properly tested, it will then be connected to the heat pump unit.

SAVING ON THE COST OF INSTALLATION

Because geothermal heat pumps reduce energy usage, the government, as well as local utility companies, are offering financial incentives for those that pull the trigger on installation. With the Federal Investment Tax Credit, you can take 30% of the cost of your geothermal heat pump and deduct it from the taxable income on your Federal taxes. But this tax incentive is declining after the year 2019, so you better hurry and schedule your installation before the end of the year!

QUESTIONS? ASK THE DUNCAN & CHICKASHA GEOTHERMAL EXPERTS!

In our nearly 100 years serving the heating and cooling needs of Southern Oklahoma, we have helped many of our customers set up their homes for decades of energy savings and reliable home comfort by installing geothermal heat pump systems. If you have any questions about geothermal energy for use in your home, you can call experts that are standing by and waiting to answer your questions!

As energy costs continue to rise, homeowners here in Chickasha and Duncan are looking toward alternative energy sources in order to power, heat, and cool their homes. You’ve likely heard of solar for generating electricity using energy from the sun, but did you know that energy from the earth can be used to heat and cool your home?

Geothermal energy is naturally occurring heat found underneath the earth’s surface, where the temperature remains relatively constant at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This renewable source of energy can be used in conjunction with a heat pump to provide cleaner and more efficient home heating and cooling.

HOW A GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM WORKS

A geothermal system is made up of three main parts: the ground heat exchanger, or an underground loop of pipes containing water and an environmentally safe antifreeze; the heat pump; and ductwork.
In the winter, the warmer earth heats the water-antifreeze solution in the heat exchanger. Your heat pump then collects this heat from the heat exchanger, compresses it to a higher temperature, and uses it to warm the air in your home. Your ductwork delivers heated air throughout your home for consistent indoor comfort.
In the summer, the process reverses. The heat pump absorbs heat from the air inside the house and then transfers this heat to the heat exchanger, where the heat is then absorbed by the cooler ground.

THE BENEFITS OF GEOTHERMAL

The EPA calls geothermal systems “the most energy efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available” — and for good reason. Here is a look at the key benefits of geothermal:

LOWER YOUR ENERGY BILLS

Traditional heating and cooling systems rely on a fuel such as gas or electricity to generate heat. Because a geothermal system gets free heat from the ground, it costs up to 80% less to operate than a traditional HVAC system.

REDUCE YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

By reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and taking advantage of renewable energy from the ground, you’ll also minimize your carbon footprint.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REBATES & INCENTIVES

Thanks to special financing and rebates, making the switch to geothermal is more affordable than ever. With the federal tax credit for geothermal recently reinstated, you can receive 30% of the cost of the entire system on your tax refund.

PROMOTE SAFER & HEALTHIER INDOOR AIR

Because a geothermal system does not need to burn fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, or propane inside the home, there is less risk of carbon monoxide infiltration.

MAKE THE SWITCH TO GEOTHERMAL WITH DEHART

Are you considering switching to a clean and efficient geothermal system? Whether you want to know more about the pros and cons of geothermal, have questions about the system conversion process, or want to see which geothermal solution is best for your home, we have answers. Our experts can show you what geothermal will look like in your home and handle every aspect of your geothermal conversion for a seamless transition.