Below the frost line (typically about 5-6ft), the temperature of the earth remains relatively constant between 10-15°C, even on days when it’s scorching hot or freezing cold above-ground. Geothermal heating and cooling taps into a reliable, sustainable, and highly efficient source of heat – which is what makes it renewable thermal energy.
Geothermal heating and cooling uses a simple heat exchange process, harnessing stable below-ground temperatures to effectively heat and cool your home. Want to learn more about the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system? Read more on installation here.
During the winter, a sealed piping system (called ground loops) draws heat from the ground into the home. A geothermal heat pump inside the home (in place of a furnace or other traditional system), upgrades this heat and circulates it through ductwork, underfloor heating, radiators, or air vents. In summer, the geothermal heat pump transfers warmth from the home back into the earth, keeping the home cool.
You’re probably already familiar with the heat pump technology used in geothermal energy systems – it’s used by your refrigerator. If you reach around the back of your refrigerator, you feel heat, but if you open it up, it’s cold. The refrigerator is removing heat from inside the fridge and expelling it into the kitchen. The refrigerator is not creating cold, it’s simply moving heat
Geothermal heating and cooling uses similar technology. It’s a heat exchange system that connects to the ground. Pipes recirculate fluid between the heat pump inside the home and the underground loops. As the fluid passes through the pipes it absorbs heat, allowing the pipes to transport warmth to and from the home. In the summer, the process is reversed for cooling, and the heat from the home is absorbed by the earth.