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The Geo Basics
A geothermal system provides heating and cooling to your home using the earth's naturally produced heat stored a few feet below the surface.
A few feet below the surface, the earth temperature remains fairly constant ranging from 45°F in northern latitudes to about 55°F in Western New York all year.
It uses the natural heat stored in the earth to heat your home and your hot water. In the summer it reverses the process to cool to your home.
Homeowners enjoy lower utility bills (40% to 80% lower than conventional systems), lower maintenance, and higher levels of comfort year-round. They also have peace of mind knowing they are being environmentally responsible, doing so without emitting greenhouse gas emissions.
During the winter, a water solution circulating through pipes buried in the ground absorbs heat from the earth and carries it into the home.
The geothermal system inside the home uses a heat pump to concentrate the earth's thermal energy and then to transfer it to air circulated through standard ductwork to fill the interior space with warmth. It also can provide your hot water.
In the summer, the process is reversed: heat is extracted from the air in the house and transferred through the heat pump to the ground loop piping. The water solution in the ground loop then carries the excess heat back to the earth, or is used to feed your hot water tank.
The only external energy needed for the geothermal system is the small amount of electricity needed to operate the ground loop pump, fan, and compressor.
Since a geothermal system burns no fossil fuel to produce heat, it generates no greenhouse gas emissions, and completely eliminates a potential source of poisonous carbon monoxide within the home. Even factoring in its share of the emissions from the power plant that produces electricity to operate the water pump and the heat pump, total emissions are far lower than for conventional systems.
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