May 15, 2024
Filed Under: Sustainability

How Does Geothermal Energy Work in the Summer?

Whisper Valley homes are unique in the Austin market in that they utilize geothermal energy for heating and cooling. The community features a geothermal district system called the GeoGrid™ that is part of the infrastructure, similar to the community-wide water, sewer and electric utility lines.

Now that Central Texas temperatures are heating back up, many may wonder how this renewable energy source works in the summer and if it’s effective at cooling your home. We’re here to deliver the good news: geothermal energy systems perform much more efficiently than traditional HVAC systems.

Geothermal Energy in the Summer

Every Whisper Valley home is connected to the GeoGrid™ through a geothermal ground source heat pump. During the summer, the heat pump removes heat from the air, cooling down your home. As ground source heat pumps extract heat, the heated water travels through the GeoGrid™ pipes into the earth, where that energy builds up over time in the dirt surrounding the infrastructure.

This exchange and transfer of heat from the earth requires much less electricity than traditional HVACs when operating. So not only is your home staying cool in the summer, but the geothermal system helps homeowners save up to 80 percent on typical monthly energy consumption. Combined with solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, Whisper Valley homes are zero energy capable depending on personal energy behavior.

How Does it Work in Winter?

To better understand geothermal exchange systems, imagine the GeoGrid™ as a battery storage. Much like how a battery stores electricity, the GeoGrid stores thermal energy, or heat, from the depths of the Earth.

When the winter months roll around, the water in the pipes is significantly warmer (up to 75 degrees F) than the outdoor air temperature thanks to the natural cycle of the Earth being captured by this system. By having this stored thermal energy now flowing into the ground source heat pumps, they do not have to do the mechanical “heavy lifting” of generating heat and can perform much more efficiently than traditional HVAC systems. In the winter months, the “battery” is discharging stored energy.

Resiliency in Any Weather

Whisper Valley homeowners also have the option of adding a valuable upgrade to their home: a battery storage system. Home batteries pair with the solar PV in your home to stores excess energy collected during sunlight hours. This enables you to use stored power at night or to operate independently from the grid in the event of a power outage.

EcoSmart Solution

The GeoGrid™ is monitored 24/7 by the EcoSmart Solution, the green energy service provider for Whisper Valley. EcoSmart’s team ensures that this battery cycle of charging and discharging thermal energy using the Earth as a medium is properly balanced in order to best serve customers.

Whisper Valley and EcoSmart provide zero energy capable, futureproof homes that offer unmatched sustainability. To learn more about the EcoSmart Solution and new homes in Whisper Valley, call 512-720-7467 or visit our Discovery Center at 9400 Petrichor Blvd. Whisper Valley, TX 78653.