Green Building: Geothermal Heating & Cooling Systems
We've designed a number of projects which have energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling systems which use ground source heat pumps.
Heat pumps use the temperature of the earth by extracting the heat from tubing on one side of the pump and transferring to the tubing on the other side in the same way that an air conditioner works. If you extract the heat from the coolant pumped thru the tubing that circulates through the wells and transfer it to the coolant tubing in the house that circulates to the fans, you can heat a house. By reversing the direction of the heat transfer, you can cool a house. The temperature of the ground is constant in all seasons and this is a very efficient method of heating/cooling a house. The only energy used is electricity which runs the pumps required to circulate the coolant in the tubing.
The geothermal wells in our projects are vertical and placed below the front yards. They are totally hidden underground after construction is complete. Each well is about 300-600 ft. deep and the projects have between 3-15 wells, depending on the size of the house.