Choosing your geothermal system is a complex process with many options to consider. To simplify the process, you can find an installer near you who will assess your home and suggest the best option. Keep reading to learn more about the system selection process.
The Three Components of Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
There are three major sections of every geothermal heating and cooling system. There are options within each section to choose from, depending on the unique characteristics of your home. Let’s go through each section below:
Energy Supply Source
The geothermal energy supply source is what your heat pump will use to harvest heat from the warm earth, which it will then deliver into your home. There are three different types of energy supply sources:
|1. Open water well: A water well system supplies clean ground water to your heat pump. In most cases the same well that supplies your domestic water also supplies your heat pump. The heat pump then removes the heat from the water and deposits the water back into the water table at a lower temperature via a second rejection well, where it is re-circulated and reheated by the surrounding warmer earth.|
|2. Horizontal ground loop: Plastic piping is buried in long trenches six feet underground in an area of about half an acre. Fluid circulates through these pipes, absorbing heat from the warm earth and delivering it to your heat pump.|
|3. Vertical ground loop: If you don’t have enough space for a horizontal loop, your installer can drill vertical boreholes into the earth and install your plastic pipe loop exchanger in as little as a 50 foot by 20 foot area. Angle drilling can reduce the space required even further. Fluid is circulated through these pipes to absorb heat and carry it to your heat pump.|
Type of Heat Pump
All of our geothermal heat pumps are designed to work with any of the energy supply sources mentioned above, so the type of heat pump you select for your home will depend on which energy distribution system you choose. Fortunately, we’ve designed a heat pump for almost every type of energy distribution system.
Energy Distribution System
There are three major types of energy distribution systems that apply to the majority of homes. They are:
|1. Forced air: Forced air systems deliver heating and cooling via ductwork installed throughout the home.|
|2. Radiant in-floor: This system distributes heat through warm floors using plastic pipes incased in concrete with fluid circulating through them. Air conditioning is not an option with this system.|
|3. All in one: By combining radiant in-floor and forced air systems, you can have the comfort of in-floor heating and full service air conditioning through ductwork.|
When designing your heat pump system, your geothermal installer will select the right energy supply source, type of heat pump, and energy distribution system for your home. Each home is different, and your installer will customize your installation to suit your individual needs.