Geothermal Heating & Cooling Explained
Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because the heat is continuously produced inside the earth. The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). Geothermal heating units use the earths natural heat to warm and cool your home for sustainable, environmentally friendly comfort. The Earth is like a “solar battery” absorbing nearly half of the sun’s energy. The ground stays a relatively constant temperature throughout the seasons, providing a warm heat source in the winter and a cool heat sink in the summer that keeps your home with constant comfort. The EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy recognize geothermal systems as the most environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and cost effective way to heat and cool a home. Geothermal does not emit carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or other greenhouse gases that contribute to air pollution. Heating and cooling bills are reduced by an average of 40% to 70% with Geothermal.
Geo (earth) + Therme (heat)
Every geothermal heating and cooling system has three major subsystems or parts:
- An earth connection (earth loop) for transferring heat between its fluid and the earth
- A small, indoor geothermal heat pump to move heat between the building and the fluid in the earth connection
- And a distribution system for circulating warm and cool air in the building
In the winter: The geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the fluid in the earth connection and typically distributes warmed air through a system of air ducts. Cooler air from the building is returned to the heat pump and is re-warmed as it flows through the underground loop.
In the summer: The process is reversed. The geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the fluid in the earth connection and typically distributes cooled air through a system of air ducts. Warmer air from the building is returned to the heat pump and is cooled as it flows through the underground loop.