Geothermal FAQ

What is a geothermal heat pump?

A geothermal or “ground-source” heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business.

How does it work?

Like any type of heat pump, it simply moves heat energy from one place to another. Your refrigerator works using the same scientific principle. By using refrigeration, the geothermal heat pump removes heat energy stored in the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater and transfers it to the home.

How is heat transferred between the Earth and the home?

The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy. To use that stored energy, heat is extracted from the earth through a liquid medium (water or an anti-freeze solution) and is pumped to the heat pump heat exchanger. There, the heat is used to heat your home. In summer the process is reversed and indoor heat is extracted from your home and transferred to the earth through the liquid.

You mentioned heating & cooling. Does it do both?

One of the things that makes a heat pump so versatile is its ability to be a heating and cooling system in one. A geothermal heat pump can also assist in heating hot water year-round.

Do I need separate ground loops for heating & cooling?

No. The same loop works for both. All that happens when changing from heating to cooling, or vise versa, is that the flow of heat is reversed inside the unit.

Does a contractor need special certification for Geothermal Energy Applications?

Specialty Heating & Cooling, Inc. is IGSHPA Certified. This provides assurance to our customers that all systems comply with state and federal regulations for installation of the systems and the piping.

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