Installing a Geothermal Heating and Cooling System
Ground-source heat pumps rely on buried water loops to heat and cool efficiently and economically.
Synopsis: Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on some fancy mechanical engineering and the inherent stability of subterranean temperatures to operate. This article discusses three major types of systems and looks in detail at an installation of a horizontal ground-loop system in North Carolina. A sidebar explains how a geothermal heat pump works.
Back in the early 1980s, my mechanical-contracting business installed air-to-air heat pumps and gas furnaces. Period. Then I started designing a new house for myself. I oriented the house for passive-solar heat, chose premium windows and doors, and after some intensive research, settled on a geothermal heat pump to heat and cool the house. It was the clear first choice.
Soon after I moved in, my brother built a house. He also wanted a geothermal system. Two neighbors were next. Before I knew it, geothermal heating and cooling had become my full-time business, and business is good.