The Basic Science of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Quite a few residents here in Dallas, Texas, have recruited Geo-Thermal Distribution Co., LLC to turn their homes into geothermal homes. Still wary of geothermal heating and cooling yourself? Comprehending some of the science behind it – and the mechanics as well – may help.

We’ve mentioned elsewhere the merits of geothermal heating and cooling. Suffice it to say here that almost no other manner of maintaining a climatically comfortable home environment year-round are as efficient, trustworthy, or affordable, especially when you size up the energy savings.

Here’s how geothermal works that magic.

Thar’s Gold Heat in Them Thar Hills!

We mine the earth for precious metals. We drill the earth for oil. Now, more than ever, we’re tapping the earth for a resource no doubt just as valuable to a majority of us: the energy to heat and cool our homes that doesn’t necessitate oil.

You see, right beneath the earth’s crust – we’re talking no more than 33,000 feet under our feet – is a layer of magma. This is a molten and semi-molten mixture, predominantly of silicates, in which temperatures range 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 fairly constant year-round temperature of between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Meaning? Underground temperatures in Dallas (and essentially everywhere stateside, anyway) are warmer than the ambient air above ground in Winter and cooler than the ambient air above ground in Summer.

Time to Get Pumped!

What geothermal heating and cooling systems do, then, is transfer heat from the ground  to your home or heat from your home to the ground, in accordance with the season. Either way, your home is maintained at an optimal temperature to keep you and your family in comfort throughout the year.

The apparatus that handles the transfer is a geothermal heat pump. It continuously circulates water or some blend (typically antifreeze) between your home and loops of pipe (typically fabricated of polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, PVC, or CPVC) installed in the ground. In Winter, the liquid is cold when it enters the ground. As it courses through the loops, it takes in heat from the earth and is returned to your home warm. In Summer, the process is reversed: warm liquid enters the loops, where it’s cooled by the cooler ground temperatures before it’s returned to your home. Looking for details? You’ll find more comprehensive information on ground loops here.

The salient 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 are not only quieter but also a lot more dependable, need less maintenance, have far longer lifespans, and are more environmentally friendly than old-school HVACs. That’s also why, over the long haul, you’ll save lots more more money by going geothermal.

Curious now? See Geo-Thermal Distribution Co., LLC, your Dallas geothermal heating and cooling authority, today.