This article is an introduction to readers on how easy it is to provide a very efficient “boost” to your heating and air conditioning systems by taking advantage of the earth’s natural tendency (inertia) to stay at a constant temperature just a few feet down from the surface. You can go to almost any inhabitable place in the world, dig no more than 20 feet down, and reach a place where the earth’s temperature is a constant 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 10 to 13 degrees Celsius).
It’s easy enough to see how temperatures as cool as 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit would help keep your house cool in the summer. Often, no other cooling is required. It’s sometimes a little more difficult to grasp how air of that same temperature could heat a house in the winter. In reality, circulating the air from the ground through your house can bring the temperature up to around 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Then it is only necessary for your heater to make up the difference between the pre-heated air and the air temperature you wish to achieve.
For example, if the outside air is 30 degrees Fahrenheit and you keep your thermostat at 68, then your heater has to use enough energy to add 38 degrees of warmth to your house. If you have a geothermal system feeding air to your house that is already in the 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit range, your heater needs 15-20 degrees less energy to achieve the same 68 degrees – roughly a 50% energy savings.
By using supplies readily available in any large home improvement store (although many of them are probably much less costly online), you can easily make a geothermal system for your own home. Granted, you have to move a lot of dirt, but if you have access to a backhoe, that wouldn’t be an issue. Don’t have a backhoe, but have a pond on your property? Even easier! The same closed-loop system (known as a pond-loop system) can be used with a small body of water instead of the earth.
Check out this videos for more information and stay tuned for detailed instructions for do-it-yourself geothermal assisted heating and air conditioning.