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What It Is - Fundamentals

The Geothermal Process

Winter Warming Process The geothermal process is based on a simple premise: The earth below the frost line - usually about four feet deep - is a constant temperature of about 50 degrees all year long.

During the winter, a geothermal heat pump absorbs heat from the ground and uses it to warm the air in your home. In the warmer summer months, the processed is reversed, taking heat from your home and transfers it back into the ground.

The basic elements of a geothermal system include:

  • Underground loops of plastic piping;
  • A liquid antifreeze solution;
  • A heat pump; and
  • An air distribution system.
Summer Cooling Process

The loops of piping are buried in the ground near your home or business, either vertically or horizontally. That ground loop is connected to a pumping module inside your home.

The pump circulates a mixture of water and the antifreeze through the ground loop, where it absorbs heat from the earth. When the heated liquid reaches the heat pump inside your home, the heat is multiplied and used to warm the air inside the air-handling system. A blower sends the warmed air throughout the building through ductwork.

To cool your home or business during the summer, the system simply works in reverse with the flip of a switch on your thermostat.

Learn more about: The Anatomy of a Geothermal Heat Pump

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