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Inside a Geothermal Heat Pump

01/31/2011

Recently, many inquisitive Northern Colorado residents have asked Comfort By Nature about geothermal. Sure, geothermal heat pumps use the earth to condition your home... but how do they do it?

This fascinating system works thanks to one simple principle: Given the opportunity, heat flows towards areas that are cooler. That's why an ice cube melts and it's the mechanism behind a geothermal heat pump. Here's how geothermal works :

Combustion is not the source of heat in a geothermal system. It simply collects and moves it using the principle stated above. In order to carry heat energy from one major component of the system to another, a special liquid called refrigerant is used. The refrigerant is pumped throughout the system by a powerful centrifugal pump called a compressor.

During the summer, a blower circulates warm indoor air through your home's duct system. The air is eventually forced across a series of metal pipes and thin fins called an air coil. The air coil houses cold refrigerant and naturally absorbs the undesirable heat from your air. The refrigerant carries that heat into the compressor where it's put under a large amount of pressure. When refrigerant is put under pressure, its molecules are concentrated and collide more often - making it considerably hot.

Next, the hot refrigerant is pumped through a copper tube-within-a-tube called the coaxial coil. The inner tube contains water circulating from underground pipes (called a loop), while the outer tube contains refrigerant. The refrigerant passes its heat through the wall of the coil and warms the loop water. A loop pump circulates the warmed water back underground where the heat that began in your home is deposited into the earth. At the same time, the refrigerant in the coaxial coil is pumped through an area of low pressure called an expansion valve. The decreased pressure allows the refrigerant to expand rapidly. When refrigerant expands, its molecules get farther apart and collide less often - making it very cold. The cold refrigerant is now ready to be circulated back to the air coil, where the process can begin again.

To heat your home, the system literally reverses the entire process using a reversing valve. Refrigerant flows in the opposite direction and order of components.

Comfort By Nature hopes this information has been helpful in your decision to install an energy-saving geothermal system. We install one of the most efficient geothermal heat pumps on the market; WaterFurnace. We serve all of Northern Colorado and the surrounding areas. Contact us today.

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About Comfort By Nature

Comfort By Nature has provided Northern Colorado geothermal heating and cooling solutions for many years. We proudly offer Northern Colorado WaterFurnace geothermal systems and stand behind our quality work and products. Call us at Comfort By Nature today. We are ready to bring you into the WaterFurnace Northern Colorado geothermal family.

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