In physical terms, “cooling” refers to removing heat from something. An air conditioner cools a home by removing heat from the interior air and transferring it to the exterior. Geothermal air conditioners do this more efficiently by utilizing the constant temperatures that exist underground. They not only lower your energy bills, but are good for the environment.

How geothermal air conditioning works

A few feet underground, the earth remains at a nearly constant temperature. The defining feature of geothermal air conditioning is a system of pipes that circulates water through this area. While the refrigerant system in most air conditioners transfers the heat it has removed from a home to the exterior air, the refrigerant system in a geothermal air conditioner transfers it to the water circulating in these pipes. The system of pipes allows the heat the water has gained to be transferred into the ground so that the water is at its previous temperature by the time it gets back to the refrigerant system. There are a variety of setups that can accomplish this and the best setup is determined by the land you have available.


Because it’s transferring the heat into lukewarm water instead of the hot exterior air, the refrigerant system doesn’t have to work nearly as hard. This makes geothermal heat pumps more efficient than traditional air conditioners. They can also include a component that allows them to use some of the heat removed from your home to heat the water it uses with no additional energy usage. In winter, they can operate in reverse as a heat pump to provide super efficient heating without using natural gas or another heat source. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. Geothermal air conditioning also tends to be easier to maintain, longer-lasting and quieter than standard systems.

If you need more information on geothermal air conditioning, contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We specialize in steam, hot water and radiant systems, and have been providing unparalleled services to customers in the Cleveland area since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about geothermal and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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