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How Does Geothermal Work?

Charleston, SC: Morelli Explains, “How Does Geothermal Work?”

It’s a buzzword becoming popular in HVAC applications, but how does geothermal work? Geothermal systems are a fascinating use of natural resources and free energy in heating and cooling systems. In a world of high energy costs and an increasing concern for the environmental impact of our dependence on fossil fuels, considering geothermal makes sense.

How Does Geothermal Work in the Direction Opposite Normal Heat Transfer?

Normally, heat escapes our buildings in the winter and enters them in the summer. This is why we have to add heating or air conditioning to keep our homes and offices at the optimal temperature. How does geothermal work to correct this?

Geothermal has tapped into the state of the ground about 20 feet below the surface of the earth. The inner earth at this depth is a constant 50-60 F year round even though the temperature of the surface above fluctuates throughout our seasons. So the earth can absorb heat when it’s summertime or plus 60 F at the surface. It can supply heat when it’s wintertime or less than 50 F at the surface.

How Geothermal Works with Three Critical Partners

The partners that work together in a geothermal heating and cooling application are the earth, a liquid that loops through the ground, and an indoor HVAC unit with a heat pump and associated ductwork. The earth is the heat source in the winter and the heat sink in the summer. The liquid that loops through the ground is usually water in a closed loop.

This loop can span vertically or horizontally depending on the right fit for the application. The water is the carrier of heat energy between the earth and the indoor unit. It’s circulated by a pump. The final piece, the indoor HVAC unit consists of a fan, compressor, and pump, and is powered with electricity.

Morelli Heating & Air Conditioning is up to date on the exciting possibilities of geothermal in heating and cooling. Call 843.554.8600 today to discover how does geothermal work and how could it work best in your application.

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