While many people look to the sun for green energy, there’s a more dependable option right under your feet; geothermal A/C utilizes the constant temperatures that are found several underground to provide cooling at efficiencies that are unmatched by traditional A/C. These constant underground temperatures are found basically everywhere, and there are a range of installation options.
Geothermal systems work similarly to traditional air conditioning. Traditional A/C uses refrigerant flowing through an evaporator coil to remove heat from your home’s air. The refrigerant is then compressed and passed through a condensation coil where the heat the refrigerant absorbed is transferred to the exterior air.
The difference with geothermal A/C is that instead of transferring the heat it gains from your home to the exterior air, it transfers the heat to a water/anti-freeze solution flowing through a loop of underground pipes. The loop is designed so that any heat gained by the water is transferred to the ground by the time the water completes the loop.
Since the heat is expelled into the relatively cool ground, the refrigerant system doesn’t have to work as hard to release it. The refrigerant system in traditional A/C has to work harder and use more energy to transfer heat to the hot outdoor air.
Geothermal A/C also offers energy savings by heating your home’s hot water with negligible extra energy use. It does this by transferring heat it gains from your home’s air to the hot water supply instead of the underground loop. Additionally, as with air-source heat pumps, geothermal systems can be run in reverse to provide super efficient heating in the winter without the fuel combustion of traditional furnaces. Since the water solution in the pipes doesn’t pose a environmental risk, these energy savings are equivalent to getting the energy from a clean energy source.
Due to the lack of an outdoor compressor and fan, geothermal A/C is also quieter than traditional A/C when it’s operating.
If you’re interested in geothermal A/C, contact our professionals at Ernst Heating & Cooling. We are proud to have served residents of the Highland, Greenville, and Hamel areas of southwest Illinois since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about geothermal A/Cs and other HVAC topics, visit our blog.