FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

GEOTHERMAL FAQ’S

Q: What is a geothermal heat pump?
A: A Geothermal Heat Pump is an electrically powered heating air conditioning system that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth. In most areas the ground temperature 6 foot down stays a constant 68 to 72 degrees.

Q: How does it work?
A: Like any type of heat pump, it simply moves heat energy from one place to another. Your refrigerator works using the same principle. By using the refrigeration process, a Geothermal Heat Pump removes the heat from the home and transferred to the ground.

Q: How is heat transferred between the earth and the home?
A: The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy. To use that stored energy, that constant 68 to 72 degrees temperature is extracted from the earth through a liquid medium (water) and is pumped to the heat pump or heat exchanger. In the winter, 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 throughout the water.

Q: You mentioned heating and cooling. Does it do both?
A: One of the things that make a heat pump so versatile is its ability to be a heating and cooling system in one. You can change from one mode to another, just like you do on a conventional heating and air conditioning system via a thermostat.

Q: What types of loops are available?
A: There are 2 main types of loops: open and closed. The closed loop is the most common. The same water is circulated throughout the entire system. An open loop is used when a water table, such as a river, lake or a pond is used for the water source.

Q: Where can the loop be located?
A: That depends on land availability and terrain. Most closed-loops are drilled vertically about 150 ft. per ton.

Q: How many pipes are in a hole?
A: Actually, two. Polyethylene pipe in the 3/4 inch to 1 1/4 inch depending on location. Then the hole is almost filled with a type of grout called bentonite. This acts like a radiator in the ground for heat extraction and rejection.

Q: How long will the loop pipe last?
A: About 50 to 75 years. Polyethylene is inert to chemicals normally found in soil and has excellent heat conducting properties. PVC pipe should NEVER be used under any circumstances.

Q: How efficient is a geothermal heat pump?
A: Geothermal heat pumps are more than 3 times as efficient as the most efficient gas furnace, and more than 2 1/2 times more efficient than a 12 SEER air conditioner.