How does geothermal heating and cooling work in Indianapolis?
Here is a concise answer to this question:
In an Indianapolis winter, you need some source of heat to warm your home. Most furnaces consume a fuel to make heat. But the ground around your home has plenty of free heat available. If you could borrow some of this ground heat and move the heat into your home you would not need to purchase an expensive fuel. Geothermal heat pumps do exactly this. They extract heat from the ground (or from water) and move it to your home at a very low cost when compared to other fuel choices.
You’ll need a loop
A geothermal heat pump will need some type of “loop.” This is how the heat is gathered and moved from the ground to the home. An open loop is simply a well, pumping ground water to your geothermal heat pump and then discharging it in an appropriate location outside. A closed loop is a series of buried pipes that circulate liquid in a continuous circle from the heat source (ground or body of water) to the home and then back out again.
Geothermal air conditioning
In the summer we need a good cool place to dispose of the heat that accumulates in your home. The cooler this dumping site is, the better. The ground around your home is much cooler than the outside air on a hot summer day. So a geothermal heat pump easily rejects your unwanted heat into the ground outside, at a much better efficiency than a standard air conditioner.
Geothermal water heating
Wait! Did I say “unwanted heat?” The appliance sitting right next to your geothermal unit is the water heater and it is costing you money to heat the water. In the summer, you can enjoy free heat injected into your water heater from a geothermal heat pump. It helps heat the water tank in the winter too.
So there is the simplest explanation of geothermal heating and cooling in Indiana. The portion of a geothermal system that sits in your home will look the same as any other furnace. But with geothermal, there is no outside unit, air conditioner or heat pump unit. Then you need to choose the most appropriate geothermal loop design.