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in Partnership with GeoExchange and IGSHPA


in Partnership with GeoExchange and IGSHPA

MIssouri Geothermal Site Logo for Header

Geothermal Explained

What is Geothermal Energy?

Geothemal 101

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Works in Harmony with the Earth

Geothermal Heat Pumps are self-contained units that efficiently heat and cool homes and commercial buildings while providing hot water. They use standard electronic thermostats and duct systems, making them appropriate for retrofits of standard heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Geothermal Heat Pumps can be sized to heat and cool any building in any climate.

Geothermal Heat Pumps quietly and reliably harness the renewable energy generated by the Sun that is stored in the ground near the Earth’s surface. They make significant contributions to a cleaner environment by saving energy, cutting fossil fuel use, and reducing carbon emissions.

Cooling mode and Heating mode of a Geothermal System

The Earth is a Source of Heat During the Winter Months...

Geothermal Heat Pumps transfer heat from the ground into buildings to provide warmth

...and an Efficient Place to Reject Heat During the Summer Months

Geothermal Heat Pumps transfer heat from the buildings into the ground to provide cooling

Ground Loops Connect Buildings to the Earth's Heat

Unlike conventional heating and air conditions systems that use the outside air to absorb and release heat, Geothermal Heat Pumps transfer heat from and to the ground. They do that through closed loops of plastic pipes buried either horizontally or vertically in the ground below the frost line where the temperature is consistently between 40° to 80° F depending on where you live. Called ground loops, the pipes are sealed tight, and connected to the geothermal heating and cooling system inside the building. Water circulates through the underground pipes of the ground loop.

Types of Homeowner Geothermal Loops

During the summer months in cooling mode, unwanted heat indoors is transferred outside through the water in the pipes for cooling by the earth. The cool water is then circulated to the geothermal system indoors to provide efficient air conditioning. During the winter months, the process is reversed in heating mode. The earth heats the water circulating through the pipes, which is transferred to the geothermal system to provide indoor space heating. Hot water can also be provided for little or no additional monthly energy cost.

Resource: The Geothermal Exchange Organization:

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