Once summer hits in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, staying cool is a top priority. While you work to maximize comfort, do you also have the right system to maximize energy efficiency and savings? If you don’t know about geothermal heating and cooling, you’re really missing out on a huge opportunity to save money and gain year-round comfort. Rusk Heating & Cooling discuss how geothermal heat pumps work to help you better understand this amazing heating and cooling system!

Parts of a Geothermal System

One of our highlighted products is the geothermal HVAC system. Before we can explain how geothermal heat pumps work, we need to share the different components of this sort of heating and cooling system.

The three key components of a geothermal HVAC system include:

  • The geothermal heat pump
  • The ground loop
  • The distribution system (ductwork)

First up is the ground loop. This is a system of fluid-filled piping that is buried below ground on your property. Because the ground loop is very well protected in this location, this component can last 50 years or more before it needs to be replaced!

The geothermal heat pump is installed inside your home. Typically, the unit will contain the heat pump components and air handling components, so it’s not necessary to have both indoor and outdoor equipment installed. Like an air source heat pump, geothermal heat pumps also exchange heat between two sources. In this case, heat is moved between the indoor air and the ground versus indoor air and outdoor air.

The geothermal heat pump connects to the home’s duct system. Once air is warmed or cooled by the heat pump, the blower components push conditioned air through the ductwork and into living areas throughout the home.

How Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Work?

The temperature below ground remains steady throughout the year, around 50 degrees. There is plenty of heat energy here to warm the air in a home, and the ground serves as a heat sink for depositing waste heat from the home in summer. Fluid in the ground loop circulates to absorb and release heat, depending on the mode of operation.

The underground loop system leads back to your indoor heat pump. Geothermal heat pumps work by moving fluid through the loop and transferring heat between the air indoors and the fluid in the loop. 

In cooling mode, the indoor heat pump absorbs the hot air from your home and re-injects it back into your yard via the loop system, which circulates back into and through the earth. In this case, the water is warmer leaving the home than when it returns since heat is rejected into it. When the water in the loop system goes back to your home, it’s cool again.

Once it is winter, this process is reversed! In winter, water circulating inside the loop absorbs heat from the earth’s surface and carries it to the indoor heat pump unit. Here it is compressed to a higher temperature and heat is released into the air for distribution throughout your home.

Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pumps

  • Geothermal heating and cooling systems are highly efficient. They do not burn fossil fuels to create heat, and they can transfer as many as four units of heat energy for every unit of electric energy consumed to power the system!
  • Switching to a geothermal system can save you 50 to 60 percent on heating and cooling costs compared to other conventional HVAC systems.
  • Geothermal heating and cooling systems can also be configured to supply a household with hot water! Further energy savings can be realized by trading your conventional gas or electric water heater for a geothermal system.

Geothermal HVAC Systems for Your Home

Have questions about how geothermal systems work? Interested in having a geothermal heating and cooling system installed at your home? Call Rusk Heating & Cooling today to learn more!