How Does a Geothermal System Work?

May 26, 2016
Ross and Witmer

With warm weather on the rise and summer on the horizon, homeowners in Charlotte, North Carolina, are likely considering what they can do efficiently to keep their home at a comfortable temperature. While there are many options out there, geothermal cooling may be the most energy-efficient system in the bunch. Thanks to the advanced technology of a geothermal system, you can spend the spring and summer in comfort while saving money on your utility bill. Here’s how a geothermal system works.

The Tech

Geothermal systems work similar to a heat pump system. In contrast to a standard HVAC system (a type of forced-air system), which generates air using fans and either heats or cools that air, a heat pump moves around heat much like a refrigerator. For instance, warm air from the refrigerator goes outside, while cool air moves in to take its place. Most heat pumps remove heat from the air, but a geothermal heat pump uses a much more reliable source: the ground.

Unlike the air temperature, which fluctuates substantially depending on the season, the ground several feet under the surface remains at a relatively constant temperature year-round. This means the ground is warmer than air in the winter and is cooler in the summer. The geothermal system pumps hot refrigerant (that has taken heat from your home) through pipes deep in the ground. The earth absorbs the heat, and the cooled refrigerant is pumped back into your home.

The Benefits

Since a geothermal heat pump moves air instead of creating a temperature, this system costs less electricity to operate. Moreover, since it doesn’t release any CO2 emissions (as most forced-air systems do), it’s extremely eco-friendly. With a geothermal cooling system, you’ll not only stay comfortable, but you’ll also be saving money and protecting the environment.

For more questions about geothermal cooling systems or to have one installed in your home, give Ross & Witmer a call at 704-392-6188.

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