Friday, April 10, 2009

Asheville NC Custom Builder explains how Geo Thermal Heat Pumps Work

Geo thermal Heat Pumps, here is how they work. All energy comes from the sun. Mr. Sunshine has provided a lot of BTUs for a lot of years and Mother Earth has absorbed and stored that energy. A closed-loop geothermal system simply removes those BTUs from Mother Earth in the winter and gives them back in the summer. At depths of five feet or more, the earth temperature remains close to 57 degrees, as evidenced by a caves temperature. This temperature varies only slightly across the United States. There are two basic ways to install a geothermal unit. If digging a trench is difficult or if space is limited, geothermal contractors drill holes into the ground vertically to install small-diameter polyethylene pipe. If digging a horizontal trench is feasible, the pipe is installed in a horizontal trench.

A very small pump then circulates water from the earth to the geothermal unit and back to the ground in the closed loop pipe. Actually, geothermal is not the best name for this unit. A better name is ground-coupled heat pump or water-to-air heat pump. As you learned in my last newsletter, a heat pump does not create heat; it just moves heat from one location to another using a compressor. Example: A window air conditioner blows cool air inside and hot air outside. If you turn the air conditioner around, it will blow hot air inside and cool air outside. As it circulates 57-degree water in the winter, the geothermal unit, using the compressor to remove heat from the water, provides 105-degree air into the house. As the water goes back to the ground loop, it immediately starts absorbing BTUs from the earth.

In the summer, a reversing valve simply reverses the process and the compressor pumps BTUs into the ground loop. The water returns to the earth and immediately starts cooling off again. It is all about heat transfer. Here is another example, a blacksmith heats a horseshoe to red hot. To cool it, he does not wave the horseshoe into the air. Instead, he simply dips it in water. It cools off a lot faster and takes a lot less energy. Geothermal gives good hot air in the winter and really cold air in the summer and uses less energy than any other central heating and cooling system. So do not be a tightwad. Buy the best there is, you, your family, and your house deserve it. Advantage Development Co. is an award winning custom home builder in Asheville NC, building fine homes for two decades. Call us today at 828.215.9064 or visit us at to learn more about why we are the better builder.

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