Geothermal Heating and Cooling in Fort Worth, Texas
Standard furnaces and air conditioners use electricity, gas or oil to heat or cool air and then blow that air throughout your home. The efficiency of the system is determined by the amount of fuel required to raise or lower the temperature of the air to the desired setting.But what if you didn’t have to start with cold winter air or hot summer air? What if you could start heating or cooling from a more moderate temperature? Well, that’s exactly what a heat pump does. Instead of using large amounts of fuel to heat or cool air, heat pumps use much smaller amounts of electricity to move heat that existing heat energy from the ground to your home.
Geothermal Heating And Cooling
Outside temperatures swing from scorching heat to frigid cold as the seasons change, but the temperatures of the earth six to 10 feet underground remain mostly constant. These subsurface temperatures vary, depending upon the geographic latitude, but they are independent of the seasonal changes occurring in the air above them. From 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the northern climes to 75 degrees in the deep southern latitudes, whatever they are is what they remain. In Fort Worth, the temperature 10 feet below the surface stays around 55 degrees.
A geothermal heat pump uses small amounts of energy to exchange the constant subsurface ground heat with the fluctuating heat of the air. During the winter months, the 55-degree temperature 10 feet below the surface is warmer than the air temperature, so the pump provides geothermal heating. In the summer months, when the Texas sun heats the air to uncomfortable extremes, that 55-degree subsurface temperature is much cooler than the air temperature, and the pump provides geothermal cooling.
Geothermal heat and cooling systems have three main components.
- The Heat Sink
The heat sink is the component buried under the ground and in contact with the constant temperature found there. Geothermal heat sinks are typically plastic or metal pipes that are inserted either vertically or horizontally into the ground. They contain water or an antifreeze solution as the heat transfer fluid, and they are closed loop transfer systems. The liquid within them never comes into contact with the soil or the air. Both vertical and horizontal closed loop systems function in the same manner, and large facilities typically require vertical heat sinks because horizontal pipes would require too much land.
- The Heat Pump
The inside air temperatures in Fort Worth fluctuate from 40 degrees in the winter to over 100 degrees in the summer, but the temperature 10 feet below the surface is a nice, steady 55 degrees. The heat pump is the device that moves the heat from the air inside the building down to the heat sink below the surface during the cooling cycle or draws heat up from the buried heat sink during the heating cycle.
- The Distribution System
The distribution system is the part of the geothermal heat pump that actually delivers geothermal heating and geothermal cooling to your home. In most geothermal applications, these are ductless systems.
Is a Geothermal System Right for You?
Geothermal systems typically use 40 to 60 percent less energy than conventional HVAC systems. They cost more to install, but the initial price difference is easily made back during the first five to 10 years of operation. The below-ground components have a life expectancy of 50 years, and the above-ground components can be expected to last for 25 to 30 years. Aside from the savings in energy use, geothermal heat pumps are popular choices because they operate much more quietly than standard heating or cooling systems, and they require very little maintenance.Our professional sales and service staff would be glad to provide you with a cost-benefits analysis of a geothermal heat pump for your residence or commercial building. We are family owned and operated and have been serving the Fort Worth area for more than 25 years. Call us today for an Energy Star Home Performance Evaluation and find out if a geothermal heat pump is the right solution for your home!