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How is Geothermal Heating Different than a Boiler or Furnace?

If you need a new heating system in Quakertown, there are quite a few options to choose from. But before we can talk about the differences between boilers, furnaces and geothermal systems we need to understand how they work.

How a Boiler Works

Boilers, like most traditional heating systems, require a fuel source, normally oil or gas, which is combusted in exchange for heat. In the case of a boiler, that heat is transferred to water that is circulated to radiators in each room where the heat from the water is expelled into the air.

How Furnaces Work

With furnaces, the heat generated by the burning of fuel is transferred to a piece of metal called a heat exchanger. The furnace blows cool air from the house over the heat exchanger which warms the air and it is then delivered to the rest of the house using a series of ducts.

How Geothermal Systems Work

A geothermal system uses a pump to circulate liquid, sometimes water or a mixture of anti-freeze and water, into the ground where it is either heated or cooled—depending upon the needs of the people in the house.

The Differences between Boilers, Furnaces and Geothermal Systems

The main difference between a geothermal system and a boiler or a furnace is that it doesn’t require any kind of fuel source. The energy for the geothermal system is actually in the ground. If you dig about 10 feet into the ground, the temperature of the soil stays at an almost constant 55° F no matter what the temperature of the air is above it. When the air in the home needs to be cooled, a geothermal system absorbs the heat from the air and transfers it into the ground. When the home needs to be warmed, the process is reversed: heat from the ground is absorbed by the liquid in the pipes and transferred to the air in the home.

The only energy being used is the electricity to run the heat pump that circulates the liquid in the pipes and the air handler to distribute the conditioned air.

If you’d like to learn more about installing a geothermal system or to see if your property in Quakertown can support one, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

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