How Does Geothermal Air Conditioning Actually Work?

Posted by Tom Vatter

Are you thinking about going with a geothermal heat pump to provide cooling (as well as heating) to your home? That’s a great idea! But you probably have a few hundred questions that you need answered—maybe more. Well, that’s what we are here for. We handle installation for geothermal heating and cooling in the area, and we are ready to answer all your inquiries.

Let’s start with the most basic question of all, which is how a geothermal system can provide a home with cooling in the first place.

Geothermal air conditioning 101

A geothermal heat pump operates in the same fashion as most heat pumps, which is that it removes heat from one location and places it in another. For cooling mode, it draws heat from inside a home and deposits it outside.

But where a standard heat pump uses the air for its exchange medium, a geothermal heat pump uses the ground for half of the exchange. Indoors, a coil absorbs thermal energy from the air, lowering the air’s temperature. The refrigerant with the heat moves into a heat exchanger, where it transfers the heat to a water/antifreeze mixture. This mixture travels through loops buried at least 10 feet in the ground. The temperature down there remains stable, which makes it easy for the heat in the loops to be lost into the ground. Basically, the heat pump uses the ground as a heat sink for the heat taken from the house.

(During cold temperatures, the process reverses, and the heat in the ground is moved up into the home and released through the indoor coil.)

Although geothermal heat pumps are extremely effective at both air conditioning and heating a home and can help homeowners save money, they must have professional installation.

Need more questions answered about geothermal heating and cooling? Just call our staff at Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. We service Pensacola Beach, FL and the surrounding areas.

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