How Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Work? Skip to main content

Geothermal heat pumps are sometimes referred to as water-source, ground-source, earth-coupled, or Geo Exchange and heat pumps and have been in existence since the 1940s. Instead of outside air temperature, they use the earth’s constant temperature as the exchange medium. The temperature levels a few feet below the ground remain relatively constant despite the fact that many parts of the earth experience varying weather extremes — sub-zero cold in the winter to scorching sun in the summer.

The ground temperature stays between 7 and 21°C, depending on latitude. During the summer, ground temperature is cooler than the air above it and warmer than the air above it during winter, just like a cave. A geothermal heat pump uses a ground heat exchanger to take advantage of this and exchange heat with the earth. With the right equipment, a geothermal heat pump can effectively provide a home with hot water for domestic use.

Understanding the Operation of a Geothermal Heat Pump

A geothermal heat pump shares the same working principle as a refrigerator – they both transfer heat from one point to another. If you understand how a refrigerator works, then you have a pretty good idea of how a geothermal heat pump works. The only difference between the two is that the refrigerator can only transfer heat in one direction whereas a geothermal pump transfers heat in two directions, and can, therefore, heat and cool at the same time.

Like a refrigerator, a geothermal heat pump system has a compressor, evaporator, an expansion device, and a condenser in addition to a reversing valve that allows the pump to heat and cool at the same time. A ground source heat pump is twice as efficient as a top-rated air conditioner and about 50 percent more efficient than a good gas furnace, all year round – there’s nothing seasonal about it. Remember, the ground temperatures remain relatively constant all year round.

Installing a geothermal heat pump means you will not need an outdoor fan, which can be a little noisy. It pumps water and can be installed anywhere. Rely on Luxury Air for trustworthy heat pump installation in Conroe, TX.

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