Geothermal heat pumps use the constant temperature of the earth as an exchange medium for heat. Although many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes—from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter—the ground a few feet below the earth's surface remains at a relatively constant temperature.
Depending on the latitude, ground temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C). So, like a cave's, the ground's temperature is warmer than the air above it during winter and cooler than the air above it in summer. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of this by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger.
Geothermal heat pumps are able to heat, cool, and, if so equipped, supply homes and buildings with hot water. A geothermal heat pump system consists of a heat pump, an air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger—a system of pipes buried in shallow ground. In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to provide a free source of hot water. This can reduce utility bills in both residential and commercial applications.
Learn more about Geothermal Heat Pumps by clicking here
photo by www.freedigitalphotos.net