Saving money and energy
Updated: Monday, 06 Dec 2010, 3:14 PM EST
Published : Monday, 06 Dec 2010, 3:11 PM EST
See the article>> Mass Appeal, WWLP Springfield 22 News, www.wwlp.com
FLORENCE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Many homeowners are turning to their property's soil as a source of home heating and cooling by installing geothermal energy systems. Here to tell you how you can save money and energy is Sam Johnston, Alternative Energy Program Manager for Terraclime Geothermal.
Geothermal, what it really means is earth for geo and thermal is thermal energy that's stored in the soil.
So it's using the earth's energy in the soil to heat your home.
What is really stored in the soil is predominantly from the sun. With the sun shining down on the earth, it's six foot below and a constant temperature all year long.
It's better than 80% renewable, meaning free. It's about a five to one cost reduction. It's in the nature of 500% more efficient. No chimney, no carbon monoxide.
Better for the earth and the environment.
If everyone just one at a time changed over to using this geothermal system, it really would be better for our environment.
It's based on a little bit of a leap of faith here. But it's a refringerant state change. Just like the refrigerator in your kitchen, we take a liquid and we make it very, very condensed. We go ahead and push that into the ground and we allow it to expand in the earth's warmth. When it comes back up in this expanded form, we push it back together. This is sometimes called a heat pump. But this mechanism allows us to harvest energy from the earth, bring it up and we can get 100, 105-degree air and 120-degree hot water.
The Egyptians used it and the Romans used it. But the more modern forms have come with the advent of refrigeration after the 1930s, 1940s. Typically, before now it's just been too expensive to install. With the cost of energy going up, with the sources of energy being difficult, this is becoming more attractive.
With the incentives right now, government incentives, it's almost comparable to conventional. After you get it installed and working, then it really pays back.
If we do our job right, it should be as noisy as the refrigerator in your kitchen.
What we call a manifold and what it does, it shows the fact that we send refringerant down into the ground in a very small capillary. It goes down as a liquid. It gets down to the bottom of the tube. They are normally about 100 feet.
They go down about 100 feet. When it's to the bottom, the refringerant is allowed to expand. That means it's taking on energy like boiling an egg on the stove. That energy comes up and we send it back to a device in the basement often called a heat pump. We push the refringerant back together and it gives up heat.
In the summertime, we reverse it and send very hot refringerant into the ground and let it cool off to cool your home.
If it's installed properly, the only maintenance is the air handler to change the filter periodically. That can be $1.99 special or something more expensive.
The simpler forms of drilling are pretty noninvasive. There's about a six or eight diameter circle where we can make a mess. There are other forms where we can spread out horizontally and that can be intrusive. It depends which is the best match for your home or your building.
It's somewhere between 500% to 700% more efficient.
The air handler can be equipped with these modern hepa filters and things that can take fine particles out of the air so it will contribute to that.
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