How Does Geothermal Heating Work?


Quick Answer

Geothermal heating works by using a heat pump to pull heat from the ground via a connection to a ground loop, which is a group of underground pipes. This naturally renewable heat source uses the temperature of the Earth's crust and surface to provide heat to the home.

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How Does Geothermal Heating Work?
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Full Answer

The pipes located underground are known as a ground loop or Earth loop, and these pipes circulate water to produce warm air. Heat is absorbed by the circulating water via the Earth's crust and surface before returning to the indoor geothermal heat pump. The primary function of the geothermal heat pump is to extract heat from the water and then distribute the heat inside the home using a conventional duct system. After the heat is removed, the water is recirculated in order to gather more heat from the Earth. The water in the loop is warm when it enters the home, but is cooler when it goes back in the Earth.

Geothermal heating provides an efficient and consistent form of heat. The ground absorbs 47 percent of the energy from the sun, and the surface of the Earth is capable of maintaining a high rate of temperature consistency. Moreover, the temperature below the ground remains fairly consistent year round. These factors allow geothermal heating to prevail as an energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to heat the home.

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