How Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Work?

You have probably heard of geothermal energy and you have probably heard of heat pumps but the question is, how are these two technologies combined to result in a green, efficient, and economical heating and cooling solution?Standard Heat PumpsBefore understanding how a geothermal heat pump works you need to know what a standard heat pump. Simply put, a heat pump removes heat from one area and transfers it to another area. For example, in the summer a heat pump will extract the warm air from inside your home leaving only the cooler air to be circulated through a series of fans. Air conditioning units, furnaces, and even refrigerators are all examples of heat pumps.Geothermal Heat PumpsWhat makes geothermal heat pumps so unique is their use of the air just below the earth€™s surface. The external air has an extreme degree of fluctuation, straying far from the comfortable room temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, in order for a standard heat pump to cool 90-degree air to 72 degrees the pump must use a great deal of energy. A geothermal heat pump is four times more efficient than a standard heat pump because the temperature below the earth€™s surface remains between 55-65 degrees year round (See our article Geothermal Heat Pumps: 400% Efficient).A substance called a refrigerant, which is similar to the anti-freeze liquid used in your car, circulates the air a few feet below the earth€™s surface through a series of pipes and into your home. Using a small amount of electricity the hot air is released into your home in the winter and pulled out and released into the ground during the summer months.Geothermal heat pumps are the economical and eco-friendly way to heat and cool your home. Studies have shown that 70% of the energy used by geothermal heat pumps is renewable and consumers who install geothermal heat pumps save 30-40% of their energy bills!Still not convinced? Check out our other articles about geothermal heat pumps for more reasons to replace your furnace or a/c with a geothermal heat pump. Geothermal Heating: A Lifetime Investment The 4 Steps of Geothermal Heat Pump Installation Geothermal Heating and Cooling: The New Emergence of an Old Technology