Geothermal Heat Pump Systems use the Constant Temperature of the Ground
Geothermal Heating and Cooling is often referred to as Geo-exchange, Geothermal, or Ground Source Heating and
Cooling. They all mean the exact same thing, so don’t get confused by these names being interchanged.
Geothermal heating & cooling is
not to be confused with a geothermal power plant. A
geothermal power plant generates electricity using the core of the earth – we are not referring to this,
ever. We are talking about using the crust of the earth to heat and cool a home or building; there is no
lava or electricity generation involved.
Despite changes in the weather, ground temperatures are a constant 55° all year.
Geothermal works because the ground beneath our feet is warmer than the outside air in the winter and
in the summer. Inserting a series of small pipes into the ground allows heat to be transferred to and
your home. In this process
heat is not created, it is transported, therefore no fuel
Two Pieces to the Geothermal System
- Heat Pump - the inside unit known as the heat pump
- Ground Loop - underground pipes which connect to the heat pump
Winter Operation: The underground pipes, called a ground
loop, circulate water which absorbs the heat from
the earth and returns it to the indoor heat pump. The heat pump extracts the heat from the liquid then
distributes it throughout your home as warm air. With the heat removed, the water is re-circulated to
collect more heat from the ground. In this case, the loop water is warmer when it comes into the home
when it goes back into the earth since the heat is being removed.
Summer Operation: The indoor
heat pump takes the hot air from your home and removes the heat. This leaves behind cool air to be
distributed through your vents as air-conditioning. The removed heat from the air is rejected into the
through the ground loop. In this case, the water is warmer leaving the home then when it returns since
is rejected into it. This is not a new technology, this is not a science experiment, this is not rocket
science. In fact, in many European nations geothermal heating and cooling is the standard. In Sweden and
Switzerland, more than 75% of new homes have geothermal. The EPA has acknowledged geothermal systems as
most energy efficient, environmentally clean, & cost-effective space conditioning systems available.