According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) geothermal systems are, “the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available today.”
How Geothermal Heating and Cooling Works
Outdoor temperature shifts with the changing seasons but the temperature underground does not change as much, this is because the earth has insulating properties. The temperature from four to six feet below ground remains the same all year-round. A geothermal system typically consisting of an indoor handling unit and a buried system of pipes capitalizes on the underground’s constant temperatures to provide “free” energy.
During winter, fluid flowing through the geothermal system’s earth loop or well absorbs stored heat from the ground and brings it indoors. Heat is compressed to a higher temperature from the indoor unit and is distributed throughout the building, as if it were an air conditioner running in reverse. In summer, the geothermal HVAC system pulls heat from the building and carries it through the earth loop/pump to reinjection well, where it deposits the heat into the cooler earth/aquifer.