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Geothermal Heat Pumps: A Beginner’s Guide


All across the country, the many different regions of the United States experience distinct climates—from blistering heat to sub-zero cold, and everything in between. However, just a few feet below the surface of the earth, the temperature remains constant. In the winter, the ground temperature is warmer than the air above it, and the opposite is true of warm weather.

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Geothermal heat pumps use this constant temperature to their advantage by exchanging heat with the earth by utilizing a ground heat exchanger. Just like any other heat pump, geothermal heat pumps can not only provide heat in the winter, but they can also create cooler temperatures in your home during the summer.

At Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling Energy Services, we don’t just provide professional heating repair for our customers in Philadelphia. We also offer information and money-saving options, like geothermal pumps, for keeping their homes comfortable all year long. Let’s take a look at the different types of geothermal heat pumps, and how they can benefit you.

Closed-Loop Systems

With this type of system, an antifreeze solution is circulated through a closed loop, which is typically made of plastic tubing and buried in the ground or submerged in water. Using a heat exchanger, heat is transferred between the refrigerant in the heat pump and the antifreeze that’s in the closed loop.

There are three main types of closed-loop systems:

1. Horizontal
This type of installation is ideal and cost-effective for residential properties, specifically for new constructions and where ample space is available because it requires four-foot trenches to be dug. Common layouts include using two pipes, either buried at different depths, or laid out side-by-side five feet deep in the ground.

2. Vertical
Vertical closed loop systems lend themselves well to large commercial buildings and schools, or where the soil is too shallow for trenching. With this system, four-inch holes are drilled 100 feet to 400 feet into the ground and connected at the bottom. Then, a manifold is added and connected to the building’s heat pump, providing comfortable indoor temperatures.

3. Pond/Lake
One of the lowest-costing heating options, a pond or lake system utilizes an underground supply line pipe from the building and coiled into eight feet circles under the surface of the water to prevent freezing. However, there are several requirements, such as minimum water depths, volumes, and other criteria that need to be met before installing this system.

Open-Loop Systems

An open-loop system uses a body of water or a well to circulate fluid through the geothermal heat pump system. Once this heat exchange fluid circulates through the system, the water returns to the ground through the well, surface discharge, or a recharge well. This system requires a supply of clean water and must meet all local codes and regulations.

Hybrid Systems

In warm places where cooling is needed more than heating, hybrid systems can be an effective approach. They can incorporate several geothermal resources, or even a cooling tower to circulate cooled air throughout a building or facility.

Whether you’re looking for reliable information on cost-saving geothermal heat pump systems, or if you need heating repairs in New Jersey, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling Energy Services has you covered. We’re proud to serve the residents of our local communities to keep them and their families comfortable all year long.

For more information on geothermal heat pumps, or any of our other services, call us at 866-953-8728 today!