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Geothermal Systems for Log Homes

Geothermal (harnessing the natural warmth of subterranean soil) is one of the most intriguing renewable energy options available, but few people understand how it works or how fruitful the benefits can actually be. To help you decide if it’s right for you, let’s look at the basics.

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Geothermal systems transfer energy from the ground to energize a ground-source heat pump inside the home. How? By using a ground source heat pump as the converting appliance, the energy from the ground is collected by circulating water or an antifreeze solution through loops of tubing, which are laid out in trenches at a certain depth, then covered with soil.
Once in the ground, the fluid in the loops is naturally heated to a consistent temperature, usually around 50 degrees. No matter how cold or hot the air is, below ground that temperature remains the same. The warmed fluids are pumped into the home where the energy is extracted by the heat pump, then circulated back into the ground loop to be heated again.
By way of comparison, traditional HVAC systems burn fuel to create heat or use a large amount of electricity to energize a heating element to create heat, whereas heat pump-based systems transfer energy from one place to another.
Geothermal systems use small amount of electricity to pump the fluids through the underground loops and then extract the transferred energy to heat or cool the home, adding up to significant savings on electric bills.
So if you live or are building in an area where electric utilities are high, you want to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels or you’re hoping to achieve a green certification like Passive House or LEED with your log home, geothermal systems can help you reach your goals. The upfront costs are higher than other systems but the long-term benefits, and savings, are great.
Like what you read? Need more information? Achieving energy efficiency for you log homes goes beyond the logs. We've asked industry experts, Katahdin Cedar Log Homes to help with the answers. Click here to see more.
Published on: February 2nd, 2017

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