HVAC Science: The Physics of Geothermal Heat Pumps

The earth itself is a sustainable resource for heating and cooling that remains largely untapped by many people. Underneath the shallow ground, the earth maintains a constant temperature of 54 degrees, serving as an almost bottomless heat sink in the summer and a steady source of constant heat during the cold winter months. This is the idea behind geothermal heat pumps—an energy-efficient alternative to household heating and air conditioning that can make do without the usual fixtures of conventional systems, such as an HVAC manual damper, to save you money on your energy bill.


Heat pumps distribute temperatures throughout your home evenly, foregoing the need for an HVAC manual damper to control airflow in and around your ducts and vents. This characteristic is shared by the geothermal heat pump, which can be installed to run on existing ductwork.

Your heating and cooling will come from the earth itself. Contractors will dig a hole approximately 10 feet deep in your backyard where the heat exchanger will be buried. This may require heavy earth moving equipment and special permits from local authorities.

How It Works

The heat exchange buried in your backyard is a series of pipes filled with water or antifreeze solution constantly cycled through a heat pump. In winter, the cold outside air exchanges heat with the system and the heated air is, in turn, circulated back into the house through ducts and vents. This process is done in reverse during the summer, where outside air is typically warmer than the temperature underground.

Energy Efficiency

Without consuming gas or any other electrical generators to power parts like an HVAC manual damper, a geothermal heat pump is considerably more efficient than other conventional heating and air conditioning units.

For Heat Pumps That Just Work, There is Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning

All things considered, a geothermal heat pump is the cheaper alternative but it is not without limitations. At Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning, we can give you all the information you want to know about this system and more. Click here to contact us or give us a call at  (818) 348-4768 and learn more about geothermal heat pumps and similar products today.


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