What is Geothermal?
Geothermal systems take advantage of the Earth's constant temperature (72 degrees in Florida) to provide very efficient heating and cooling.
In the summer, heat is extracted from the air in the house and transferred through the heat pump to the ground loop piping. The water in the ground loop then carries the excess heat back to the earth. The only external energy needed for the Geothermal System is the small amount of electricity needed to operate the ground loop pump, fan, and compressor.
In winter, the process is reversed in geothermal technology, water circulating through pipes buried in the ground absorbs heat from the earth and carries it to the Geothermal Furnace. Inside the home, a heat pump concentrates earth's natural warmth, and then circulates it throughout the home using standard duct-work.
Geo heat pumps are especially good for beach and intracoastal homes where windblown sand and salt spray quickly tear up even the best outdoor heat pumps. If you have a beach or ICW home and are tired of frequent system breakdowns and costly replacements, geo may be the better choice for your home.
- Geothermal systems utilize the earth's free and renewable energy
- Heating and cooling bills can be reduced by 70%
- Geothermal systems do not produce harmful emissions.
- Heating and Cooling 40% to 80% less than conventional methods
- Less maintenance
- Higher levels of comfort
- No air pollution; no carbon monoxide emission
- Ability to produce FREE HOT WATER during the summer and low cost hot water during the winter
Closed and Open Loops
"Open loop" and "closed loop" refers to the source. The source side is the location where the heat pump will be extracting or rejecting heat to. The load side is the home we're trying to heat or cool.
Open Loop Source:
Refers to running domestic well water through the system and discharging somewhere
Our preferred method is open loop with reinjection- (means we take water out of one well, run it through the system, and put it back into the same aquifer via a second well some distance away).
We use a dedicated pump so as not to overtax a standard well pump. We also do that for efficiency reasons - house plumbing needs 50 lbs pressure, whereas geo systems need only about 5, so we use a small pump that is high volume low pressure. An additional advantage of our open loop method is that reinjection well is a great source for irrigation water, typically with addition of just an inexpensive surface mounted irrigation pump. So a home owner who already intends and budgets for an irrigation well need only budget for 1 more well to have high efficiency geo.
Closed Loop Source (Horizontal pit or trench, vertical bore, horizontal bore):
Refers to circulating water out through the ground and back through the heat pump in a continuous loop with high density PE pipe.
Closed loop systems require lots of bore holes and the water from them tends to be 85-95 degrees, much higher than the 72*F ground water we use directly. That means closed loop is less efficient than open loop during our long long cooling season.