Just the sound of “ground source heating” can hit you in an odd manner. How can we get heat from the ground?
It’s there, we just need to extract it.
About 6 feet underground, all year long, the temperatures hover around 50 degrees. Sometimes a little higher, and sometimes a little lower.
Ground heat extracting technology uses a heat pump to extract heat from the soil and “concentrate it” for use in heating your home.
It’s probably not going to be sufficient to heat your entire home, but it can at least pre-heat your furnace air intake so you don’t have to use so much energy to keep the house warm.
It seems crazy to think that cold soil can be used to heat your home, but you will see the energy available to heat your home if you expose yourself to 10 degree weather for a while, then hurry down into your unheated basement where it is close to 50 degrees.
You’ll feel the warmth even though 50 degrees isn’t normally very warm.
Now imagine a heat pump that captures and “concentrates” that energy so you can use it to heat your home. That’s ground source heating.
This is another of the energy saving tips that requires a substantial investment, but it could be worthwhile, especially if you are considering new construction where you might have several acres to work with.
This type of heating system generally requires a long run of trenches and pipes, but can also be accomplished with a vertical shaft deep in the ground.
The cost-benefit of this type of heating system is dependent upon the cost of electricity to run the heat pumps and circulators, and the cost of gas, oil or electricity that you are trying to offset.
With ever increasing natural gas prices, and electricity prices for the most part holding still, the cost benefit calculation will likely become more favorable each year.
Check with suppliers to determine whether ground source heating will be cost-effective for you.
Also, when you use heat from the ground to warm your house, the same system works in reverse to provide you with ground source cooling.
What a deal! Heating and cooling using the same system.