GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING Explained
Residential Geothermal Systems
Residential Geothermal systems use the constant temperature of the earth to help heat and cool a house . Although Long Island’s outdoor air temperatures fluctuate from below zero to over 100 degrees, our ground temperature remains a steady 55 degrees year-round. Transferring this moderate temperature to the house reduces the amount of cooling and heating needed. In the winter, a geothermal system uses a heat pump to circulate fluid through tubing in the ground to gather the earth’s warmth and pre-heat the air for a hot air heating system. In the summer, the heat pump reverses the fluid’s flow from house to ground to dissipate excess heat from the house into the earth, reducing the load on the air conditioning unit. This is the same heat exchange process used in your refrigerator to keep food cool by transferring heat into the room.
Depending on the land available, geothermal pumps can circulate fluid through…
- loops of tubing, buried six feet below the surface
- pipes in horizontal trenches
- pipes in vertical holes, 200 feet deep
Because geothermal heat pumps transfer heat instead of burning fuel, there are no combustion by-products to pollute the air. The heat pump uses clean electric power to circulate the fluid and provide additional heating or cooling when required. The heat pump delivers heated or cooled air through standard house ductwork.