How Geothermal Works
The Earth Stores Energy from the Sun
During the year the earth stores energy from the sun and even on the coldest days of winter the earth maintains a constant temperature of 50°F at a depth of six feet below the surface. A geothermal system taps into this unlimited supply of energy to heat your house during the winter.
Tapping into the Earth's Energy
A typical installation utilizes underground pipes to circulate a water and antifreeze fluid through the ground which absorbs heat and carries it back to the geothermal heat pump in the house.
Turning Low Temperature Heat into High Temperature Heat
A geothermal heat pump compresses the low temperature heat from the underground pipes into a concentrated high temperature heat. This high temperature heat is distributed to your house by air (ductwork) or water (in-floor hydronics).
Distributing the Heat to Your Home
The process to distribute the heat to your home from a geothermal heat pump is no different than a conventional system. Most often distribution is either a forced-air ductwork system or an in-floor hydronic system - or both.
Cooling In Summer
In the summer, the process works in reverse with the geothermal heat pump absorbing heat from your house and circulating the warm fluid through the underground pipes releasing the heat into the cool ground.
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