How Geothermal Systems Work

open loop geothermal system

When it’s time to install a new HVAC system, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. Michigan winters are cold, and heating your home efficiently is a top priority. Perhaps a friend or neighbor has a geothermal system, and you are considering installing one in your home. Gaining a basic understanding of how geothermal systems work can help you make an informed decision.

What is a Geothermal Heat Pump?

At depths below 20 feet, the earth remains at a near constant temperature. The exact temperature depends on soil composition and many other factors, but underground the temperature is unaffected by weather or seasonal changes, and remains generally constant. A geothermal heat pump takes advantage of this fact to pump heat into or out of the ground via a series of pipes.

Pipes are installed underground and water, or an antifreeze-like fluid, fills the loop through the ground and back up to your home. In the winter, the warmer temperatures underground raise the temperature of the fluid, which is then pumped into your home. Warm air blown over the pipes then raises the temperature of your home. The fluid is pumped back underground to regain its warmth, as newly warmed fluid is pumped through your home in a continuous cycle.

In the summer, this process is reversed, as the fluid takes on heat from your home, where it is pumped back underground to cool. This process continues pumping the heat out of your home and into the ground to be absorbed by the cooler soil all summer long.

Advantages of a Geothermal System

ecause energy is only used to circulate the fluid through the pipes, rather than using costly energy to directly heat or cool the air of the home, geothermal systems are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. The constant temperatures below ground create a near infinite supply of energy that only requires minimal effort to bring into your home once installed.

That energy efficiency translates to drastically reduced energy bills for your home year-round. In addition, homeowners choosing to install a geothermal system have the peace of mind of knowing that their HVAC system is good for the environment and significantly reducing the pollution created by less efficient systems.

Learn More About How Geothermal Systems Work Today

We pride ourselves in professional and expert service. We are a full line plumbing and heating contractor, but our passion is geothermal energy. Contact us today to learn more and have one of our professionals come help you decide what system might work best for you.