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How Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Work

We all want to save money on our utility bills. How? The answer may be right under your feet, literally. A geothermal system taps into the natural energy source underground to heat and cool your home. Geothermal energy is heat from the Earth. It’s clean and sustainable.

source/image: BoschHeatingCooling

A geothermal heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems.

The technology uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth (thermal energy) to provide heating air conditioning and hot water. Ground and water temperatures, 6 feet below the earth’s surface, stay relatively constant throughout the year. This allows the system to provide extremely efficient heating or cooling all year long in virtually any climate.


Although the purchase and installation cost of a residential geothermal heat pump (GHP) system is often higher than that of other heating and cooling systems, properly sized and installed GHPs deliver more energy per unit consumed than conventional systems. For further savings, GHPs equipped with a device called a “desuperheater” can heat household water. In the summer cooling period, the heat that is taken from the house is used to heat the water for free. In the winter, water heating costs are reduced by about half.