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May 24 2012

Geothermal HVAC Systems: GTC’s Renewable Energy Solution

High fuel prices and increasingly stringent building and energy codes have commercial and residential building owners turning their attention to geothermal energy systems. They have discovered it to be a cost-effective and environmentally sound solution for their heating and cooling needs –especially for commercial settings. 

What is a Geothermal Energy System?

Geothermal energy systems, also known as geothermal HVAC systems, utilize the ambient temperature below the earth’s surface to meet heating and cooling needs. Loops of fluid-filled pipes are buried in the ground or placed in bodies of water near the building site and connected to a heating/cooling pump system in the building.

During the winter, a geothermal system warms the loop by absorbing ground heat. That loop then flows through a coil and the warmth is transferred to the refrigerant.

During the summer, a geothermal system transfers heat from the loop into the cooler ground. The loops then cool the refrigerant.

Can the installation of Geothermal HVAC Systems be adapted to various building sites?

A variety of installation methods make it possible to install a geothermal system just about anywhere. There are three main types of geothermal loops (with various combinations also available):

  1. Vertical Loop: This is the typical loop installation used when land area is limited. The loop installer drills vertical holes to a depth of about 125 to 250 feet. U-shaped loops of pipe are placed into the holes. The bores are then properly backfilled.
  2. Horizontal Loop: When adequate land is available, horizontal loops are usually less expensive to install when compared to vertical loops. The loop installer uses a trencher or backhoe to dig one or more trenches at least 4 to 6 feet deep and ranging in length from 100 to 300 feet, depending on the loop design and application.      
  3. Pond Loop: When a nearby body of water is available, pipe coils can be placed on the bottom to transfer heat to and from the water. A ½-acre, 8 ft. deep pond is usually sufficient for the average home. This option is usually less expensive to install than both earth loop options.

Is Geothermal Energy Renewable?

A geothermal HVAC system uses electricity to operate the unit’s compressor, fan, and pump, but it does not use fossil fuels to generate heat. It simply utilizes the energy from the sun, which is stored in the earth. The use of this renewable source for heating and cooling means that three to four units of energy are created for every unit of energy used to power the system, resulting in greatly reduced operating costs and saving other valuable energy resources.

Geothermal systems have been recognized by the EPA as the most environmentally safe and cost effective heating and cooling system on the market. Many government entities offer incentives and rebates to encourage the installation of geothermal systems.

General Temperature Control: Columbus, Ohio’s Experts in Geothermal Systems Technology

General Temperature Control (GTC) believes in promoting the cause of energy efficiency and sustainability by implementing a broad spectrum of mechanical solutions. Building better businesses strengthens communities and promotes a better world for future generations.

Our participation in a LEED Platinum certified Geothermal Energy System project is a testament to our dedication to improving the environment – indoors and out.

What are you waiting for? Contact GTC TODAY and build a better a better business for a better world.