The Basic Science of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Scores of people here in Manhattan, Kansas, have recruited Carlson Heating & AC, LLC 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 – may help.

We’ve mentioned elsewhere the merits of geothermal heating and cooling. It’s enough to say here that few other means of maintaining a climatically comfortable home environment throughout the year are as efficient, trustworthy, or affordable, particularlly when you factor in the energy savings.

Here’s how geothermal makes that possible.

Thar’s Gold Heat in Them Thar Hills!

We dig in the earth for precious metals. We dig in the earth for oil. Now, to an extraordinary degree, we’re tapping the earth for something no doubt just as valuable to a majority of us: the energy to heat and cool our homes that doesn’t involve oil.

You see, just below the earth’s crust – that would be in the neighborhood of 33,000 feet under our feet – is a mantle of magma. This is a molten and semi-molten brew, 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 serves to do 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 Manhattan (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 stays at the optimum temperature to keep you and your family happy month after month.

The appiance that accomplishes the transfer is a geothermal heat pump. It continuously circulates water or some mixture (typically antifreeze) between your home and loops of piping (typically 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 travels through the loops, it sucks up heat from the earth and is returned to your home warm. In Summer, the process is reversed: warm liquid is brought into the loops, where it absorbs the cooler ground temperatures before it’s returned to your home. Looking for details? You’ll find more specific information on ground loops here.

The principal point is that geothermal heating and cooling systems don’t produce energy. They’re not like central heating systems, which generate heat themselves. Instead, geothermal systems heat and cool your home by putting to use the energy already amply 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 the long haul, you’ll save considerably more more money by going geothermal.

Curious now? Consult with Carlson Heating & AC, LLC, your Manhattan geothermal heating and cooling specialist, today.