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Looking to Go Ultra Green? Consider a Geothermal Heat Pump

We’ve previously talked about what heat pumps are and their advantages. But do you know what a geothermal heat pump is?

Geothermal heat pumps (often referred to just as geothermal systems) are one of the very greenest heating and air conditioning options available today. They can be up to 600% efficient, even on the coldest nights.

So here’s what geothermal heat pumps are, how they work and why they can save you so much money.

What is a geothermal heat pump?

We already know that heat pumps are air conditioners that can also work in reverse to heat your home. So what does the word “geothermal” mean when it’s placed in front of heat pumps?

Geothermal is a word derived from two Greek words:

  • Geo – comes from the word “geia” meaning earth. Think geology and geography.
  • Thermal – from the word “therm” meaning heat or energy, like thermometer and thermostat.


So it makes sense that geothermal heat pumps are heat pumps that use the earth’s energy to cool and heat your home.

How do geothermal heat pumps work?

cooling cycle of geothermal heat pump

The key to how geothermal systems and heat pumps work is what is known as the “ground loop.” This refrigerant line is buried a few feet beneath the earth’s surface.

In the summer, when you need to cool your home, the refrigerant pulls the heat out of your home and transfers it into the ground via the ground loop.

In the winter, the process is reversed. If you need heat, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the ground and transports it into your home.

Why are geothermal heat pumps so efficient?

As we noted earlier, geothermal heat pumps can be up to 600% efficient. They are also typically twice as efficient as the most efficient air conditioners and 50% more efficient than gas furnaces.

So what allows them to be so efficient? The secret is the ground loop discussed above.

You see, even as the weather in the Sarasota area increases in the summer and drops in the winter, the ground temperature a few feet below the surface remains very constant. (If you’ve ever been in a cave, you’ve experienced this phenomenon.)

This allows geothermal heat pumps to be very energy efficient by using the naturally occurring temperatures within the earth to both heat and cool your home.

Is a geothermal system right for me?

Geothermal heat pumps are one of the most energy efficient methods of heating and cooling your home. They are also quieter, require less maintenance and last longer than other systems. However, they aren’t right for everyone. You must consider things like:

  • Available space – do you have space in your property to bury the ground loop?
  • Price – geothermal heat pumps are much more expensive than typical heating and cooling systems.
  • Other options – solar heating and cooling can also be an energy efficient solution.


Need help deciding whether a geothermal heat pump could be the right air conditioning and heating solution for your Sarasota-area home? Contact CoolToday for more information or schedule a free estimate online.