When a geothermal heating and cooling system is used for cooling in warmer months, the earth is used as storage for excess heat. The heat pump absorbs the excess heat from inside a building and uses the fluid-filled ground loop to send the heat below ground for depositing. While it may be hot on the surface, below ground temperatures remain steady and cool all year long- this enables heat from the building to be easily absorbed below ground.
When heating mode is utilized, the geothermal heating and cooling system works in reverse. The ground loop absorbs heat from below ground and moves it up to the building. This heat is distributed to the needed areas by the heat pump. Even though the ground may be frosty, the below ground temperature is toasty enough to provide heat for use indoors.
One added perk of geothermal heating and cooling systems is supplemental hot water. A desuperheater is a water to refrigerant heat exchanger which can be tied into a geothermal heating and cooling system’s ground loop. It doesn’t hurt the efficiency of the system’s heating and cooling capacities, and provides hot water for the building pretty much for free. Plus, when a hot water system is tied into the geothermal heating and cooling system, efficiency is actually increased, because less heat needs to be deposited back below ground.
A geothermal heating and cooling system very complicated; more so than traditional forced air furnaces and air conditioners. A properly sized earth loop and heat pump is important. If you have questions about what a geothermal heating and cooling system does, feel free to contact us. The geothermal heating and cooling system contractors at Smith Sustainable Design are available to answer any questions you may have.