How Does Geothermal Work?
Geothermal energy is heat derived from the earth. Geothermal systems draw renewable energy from the ground to heat buildings in winter and return heat into the ground to cool them in summer.
Simply put, in winter, warmth is drawn from the earth through a series of pipes, called a loop, installed beneath the ground. A water solution circulates through the loop and carries the earth’s natural warmth (in Colorado the earth stays at a relatively constant temperature of approximately 48-55 degrees) to a heat pump inside the home. The heat pump concentrates the earth’s thermal energy and transfers it to air circulated through interior ductwork or to radiant heat in flooring.
Why Install Geothermal?
Living with a geothermal system is an exceptionally quiet, comfortable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly experience!
- Enhanced comfort – doesn’t dry out the air as much as conventional systems.
- Improved indoor air quality
- Aesthetics – no loud, ugly outdoor equipment
- No onsite combustion = no worries about carbon monoxide, fuel leaks/spills, or fumes
- Reduced noise – no outdoor condenser or chiller
- Minimal maintenance – primarily filter replacement
- No weather damage, corrosion, or vandalism
- Environmentally friendly – greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Long service life – 20 years or more (ground loop piping – 50+ years)
- “Green” technology recognized by LEED.
Another valid measure of confidence, geothermal systems have earned Energy Star certification by the EPA and DOE.
In the summer, the process is reversed; heat is extracted from air inside the home and transferred to the biggest “heat sink” of all- Earth – by way of geothermal loops.
Also, as an added bonus you can utilize the waste heat removed from the home’s interior during the cooling season to provide virtually free hot water. This can result in a total savings in hot water costs of about 30% annually, and further lower your home’s total emissions. Geothermal can also be used in conjunction with solar, radiant floor systems, as well as used to preheat domestic hot water.
Who Can Use Geothermal?
Geothermal systems can be found in all types of structures from residential housing to commercial buildings. From new construction to existing structures, luxury homes and middle-class homes to townhomes and condos, geothermal systems are becoming a valuable option. More builders are seeking geothermal technology to increase energy efficiency and reduce their ‘carbon footprint’. Benefits that conventional heating and cooling systems just can’t match. Colorado Geothermal Drilling has installed geothermal systems in homes, schools, visitor centers, fire stations, wineries, churches, warehouses, garages, apartment buildings and so much more. Make sure to check out our Gallery Page to see some of our projects.