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Questions About Geothermal Energy

heat_transferGeothermal systems rely on the earth’s subsurface maintaining a constant temperature. The temperature may fluctuate significantly at the surface, but at depths greater than 6 feet, the temperature remains relatively stable (approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

The standard geothermal system includes a loop (tubing) containing a liquid (antifreeze) which is constantly circulating. This loop runs from the building to the exterior, horizontally in the ground, or vertically in a boring, and then back to the building.

As the liquid is circulated, it absorbs heat from the surrounding earth in winter, and transfers heat to the surrounding earth in summer. The liquid is circulated through the compressor or heat pump, which extracts heat for distribution throughout the structure.

In the summer the system works in the opposite direction to provide cool air.

No. This system is based on the earth’s subsurface maintaining a stable temperature, regardless of the season, and not the production of steam. The stable subsurface temperatures are actually the result of the sun. If you do live on a volcano, we can still help you.
Yes. Depending on where you live, your heating and cooling needs will vary. This will result in different geothermal loop sizes. The system will work well anywhere in the US, as long as the properly sized geothermal loop for your area is installed.
Not necessarily. It is the length of the heat exchanger (earth loop) that is critical, not its orientation. A larger space is required for a horizontal loop system. Significantly less area is required for a vertical loop, which may be installed in one or more borings (to depths ranging from 100 to 400 feet). A vertical loop system for a 2,500 square foot building can be installed in an area the size of a parking space.
Yes. We can drill through bedrock. Bedrock drilling is actually preferred because most rock will transfer heat better than soil.
No. Geothermal systems are extremely quiet. The rumbling noise of an oil or gas system and the roar of combustion has been eliminated. Most noise from heating systems comes from the fuel combustion. Geothermal systems operate at a noise level similar to a refrigerator.
The units are comparable in size to a standard gas or oil furnace.
Homeowners can expect their geothermal unit to meet approximately 40 to 60% of their annual hot water needs. When the geothermal unit is operating, up to 100% of the hot water needs will be met by the system. When the unit is not operating, the unit will not generate any hot water. Over the course of a year, the system will produce about half of your hot water. Your water heater will do the rest.
Most buildings can be retrofitted with a geothermal system. Geothermal systems typically take up less space than fossil fuel systems.
If your property currently has forced hot air or air conditioning, a geothermal system should integrate easily with your existing system. In cases where the current system includes baseboard heaters or radiators, radiator replacement and/or the installation of a duct system may be required. Geothermal can integrate well with existing radiant floor systems.