What Are The Common Benefits Of The Geothermal Heating?
Geothermal heating is an excellent source of renewable energy, and can be used to heat water for domestic hot water or space heating. It can also offer a reliable way of keeping your home warm in the winter months without having to burn extra gas or electricity. However, geothermal heating isn’t as simple as it first appears, so you should always do your homework before installing any system.
What Is Geothermal Heat Pumping?
There are two main types of geothermal heat pump systems – closed loop (also known as ground-source) and open loop. A closed loop system uses a network of pipes buried beneath the surface of the ground to extract heat from the soil, using the earth’s natural temperature gradient to transfer the heat to the building above it. The pipes carry this heat through to the internal pipework of your house, where it is pumped into your boiler or central heating system. Open-loop systems use hot water to transfer heat between the building and the ground. This method relies on the constant movement of air across the top of the well, which is then transferred into the building via the chimney or ventilation shaft.
The Benefits Of Geothermal Heating
As with most forms of renewable energy, there are many benefits to installing geothermal heating at your home. Firstly, you will reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, helping the environment by preventing carbon emissions and reducing your impact on the climate.
Secondly, you’ll reduce your bills by heating your home more efficiently than traditional methods. This is because geothermal heating takes advantage of the fact that you have already paid for the land your property sits upon, meaning that your initial outlay is lower than if you had installed a conventional boiler room or radiator. Furthermore, geothermal systems are not only cheaper to install, but they’re much less expensive to run than other forms of heating, making them ideal for people who live off a small income.
Thirdly, geothermal heating offers a sustainable option for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Because it extracts heat from the earth rather than burning coal or gas, it has a very low carbon emissions profile, making it particularly green. Furthermore, it doesn’t produce ash like some forms of heat and can therefore be seen as more environmentally friendly than other forms of heating.
Finally, geothermal heating is extremely efficient. In fact, it’s been shown that a properly designed geothermal system can be up to 85% more efficient than traditional forms of heating, due to its ability to draw heat from the ground. This means that you could potentially save money on your bills, or even make a profit on your investment!
While these benefits may sound great, there are still a few things that homeowners need to consider when deciding whether to go down the geothermal route, or stick with traditional methods.
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What You Need To Know About Geothermal Systems
Firstly, you must ensure that your property is suitable for geothermal installation. If your soil is too wet or frozen during the winter months, geothermal heating won’t work as effectively, as the pipes will freeze and become useless. This is why many homeowners choose to install underground panels of plastic instead, which remain pliable year round.
Before you start the process of installing a geothermal heating system, you should also consult an engineer. They will conduct a full survey of your property to find out how much heat is lost through your walls or windows, and what part of your roof is best suited to collecting heat. Once they’ve found the optimum area, the engineer will then drill holes directly into the ground to locate the pipes, which should run straight down from your attic to the basement. The pipes are usually about the same diameter as your plumbing, and will come complete with drainage fittings, valves and thermometers. These elements will allow the engineer to monitor the heat output of your system, allowing them to optimise performance and avoid problems such as overheating or freezing.
A good engineer will also provide you with all of the information you need to maintain your system once it has been installed. For example, they will advise you on which parts of the system require regular cleaning, and what you need to do to prevent any possible leaks from forming. Finally, they will also tell you exactly how to operate your geothermal heating system safely, ensuring that everyone in your household remains safe and healthy while they are running.
What Can Go Wrong With Geothermal Systems?
Unfortunately, there have been reports of geothermal systems failing catastrophically. While engineers often recommend that you leave your system alone until it reaches a steady state, you might want to switch off the system altogether if something goes wrong. There are a number of reasons why this could happen. Firstly, the temperature of the pipes could drop below freezing, causing the pipes to crack or break. Secondly, the pipes themselves could burst, either through corrosion or an accident. Lastly, the pipes could become blocked, either by debris falling down the pipe or by tree roots growing into the system.
If one of these situations occurs, the entire system will fail, forcing you to replace everything including the soil pipes. Thankfully, it’s rare for pipes to crack or break, while both blocked pipes and broken pipes can easily be repaired. As long as you keep your system clean, blockages should be easy to resolve.
When Should I Install My Geothermal System?
There are a number of factors that determine whether you should install a geothermal heating system or not. Your location is important, as it affects the length of time your pipes will take to reach thermal equilibrium. Other factors include how old your house is, and the type of heating system you currently own.
For example, if you live in a rural setting with poor access to mains power, you may find that geothermal heating is better suited to your needs, especially if you don’t plan on upgrading your heating system anytime soon. However, if you live in an urban setting with good access to mains power, you may find that geothermal heating isn’t necessary, as you’d get similar results with a smaller system. If you decide to install geothermal heating, you should do so as quickly as possible, as the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to achieve optimal performance.
Finally, you should look into the cost of geothermal heating, as the upfront costs can be higher than other forms of heating. However, the savings you receive over the lifetime of your system makes it well worth the initial investment.