Geothermal Heating and Cooling 101

Geothermal heating and coolingYou may have heard of geothermal heating and cooling but don’t know a whole lot about how this type of system works. You may have also heard this technology referred to by other names, such as ground source heating and cooling, geo-exchange or simply geothermal. The principle is simple – using the earth to provide warm and cool air to a building or a home.

How it Works

A geothermal system takes advantage of the fact that the ground temperature stays relatively constant no matter what the air temperature may be. During the winter, the ground underneath our feet is warmer than the outside air, while it’s cooler during the summer. A geothermal heating and cooling system uses several small underground pipes that transfer heat to and from a building. Because heat is merely transported, not heated, there is no need to burn fuel.

This type of system consists of two main components; the heat pump, or inside unit, and the ground loop, the underground pipes that connect to the heat pump. The ground loop circulates water that absorbs cool or warm air from underground and returns it to the heat pump. Here is how it works during warm and cold weather.

  • During Winter – As the water comes from the ground loop into the heat pump, warm air is extracted and then distributed throughout your home.
  • During Summer – The heat pump removes heat from the air from inside your home and replaces it with cool air it transports from the ground.

This technology has been well established in many areas of Europe for several years. It is extremely efficient, environmentally friendly and also cost effective. However, just like any substantial investment, you need to be 100 percent certain that a geothermal heating and cooling system would be right for your home. At Northern’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, we’ll be more than happy to speak with you about whether or not this will be the best option. Contact us online or call us at 763-412-1197.

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