The Ground Source Heat Pump System

The earth is an enormous solar collector. As the sun’s rays strike earth, solar energy is absorbed and stored in the ground. In North America the ground temperature is at a year-round, relatively constant 55 °. Even during the winter at our latitudes, the ground remains at this temperature at levels below a depth of 15 feet.

A Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system utilizes polyethylene piping set in either vertical boreholes (usually drilled to a depth of between 200 to 350 feet) or horizontal trenches with a water / antifreeze mixture circulating through these pipes. Heat stored in the ground is absorbed by this circulating fluid and conducted back to the building where it is amplified by an electrically powered heat pump.

Simply stated, this low grade heat is moved from the ground to the building, where the BTU’s are squeezed out and used to heat the building. The building can also be cooled by simply reversing the direction of the fluid flowing to the heat pump. In this mode, heat is extracted from the building and then re-injected into the ground. In essence, the ground acts like a battery – during the winter it releases its energy for heating, and if during the summer the GSHP is used to cool the building it “recharges” as the heat from the building is re-injected in the ground. The underground piping system is referred to as the “ground loop” and it can be comprised of either a series of connected pipes embedded in boreholes or a horizontal “slinky” pipe system. The choice between these systems is mostly a matter of site factors such as geologic conditions, and space considerations.

There is no other heating or cooling system that is available “24/7 – rain or shine” that even approaches the performance of a GSHP. These systems use simple, reliable equipment to provide a clean, renewable source of heating and cooling with optimal cost efficiency. For every dollar of energy (electricity) used to power the heat pump, at least an additional three dollars of free energy (BTU’s) are moved from the ground for use in the building. Heat is not created, it is simply moved. This process can also utilize an optional heat pump device called a Desuperheater to supply free hot water during the cooling mode and substantial hot water savings during the heating mode.

GeoComfort manufacturing has recently introduced a new variable speed heat pump, which is a real game changer. It is super efficient, quiet, produces all domestic hot water, requires less accessory equipment, and costs less to install. Contact us for more information.

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EarthSource, LLC is a proud member of the Colorado Geo Energy & Heat Pump Association.


EarthSource Geo, LLC is an IGSHPA Accredited Installer.

Why Should You Consider Installing A GSHP?
A better question should be why not?

Why not install the most cost efficient, reliable, environmentally clean* heating and cooling system available?

*The EPA has called Geothermal heat pump systems (GSHP ’s) the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available.