About Geothermal

     Advanced Services provides service & installation of Geothermal systems.

      A geothermal heat pump system is a central heating and/or air conditioning system that actively pumps heat to or from the shallow ground. It uses the earth as either a source of heat in the winter, or as a coolant in the summer. This design takes advantage of moderate temperatures in the shallow ground to boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.

      Geothermal heat pumps are also known by a variety of other names, including geoexchange, earth-coupled, earth energy, ground-source or water-source heat pump. The engineering and scientific community tend to prefer the terms "geoexchange" or "ground-source heat pumps" because very little of the heat originates from true geological sources. Instead, these pumps draw energy from shallow ground heated by the sun in the summer. Genuine geothermal energy from the core of Earth is available only in places where volcanic activity comes close to the surface, and can usually be extracted without the help of a heat pump.

      Like a refrigerator or air conditioner, these systems use a heat pump to force the transfer of heat. Heat pumps can capture heat from a cool area and transfer it to a warm area, against the natural direction of flow, or they can enhance the natural flow of heat from a warm area to a cool one. The core of the heat pump is a loop of refrigerant pumped through a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle that moves heat. Heat pumps are always more efficient than pure electric heating, even when extracting heat from air.

      A Geothermal Heat Pump circulates water (also antifreeze) through high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. The water picks up the warm or cold temperature of the ground depending on the season and is pumped through the plumbing by a water pump that carries the heated or cooled liquid to the geothermal unit. Here the temperature of the water is picked up by the regrigerant system of the geothermal unit by a tube-in-tube coil that has refrigerant lines located inside of the coil that water that is passing through.

Efficiency of a GeoThermal Unit

A Geothermal Units efficiency depends on the temperature of the outside ambient air. A Geothermal Units can absorb heat from the outside ambient air down to a temperature of absolute zero, -460 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal Units are really efficient based on the fact that the Heat Pump uses the mechanical refrigeration system to absorb warmth and coldness from the ground or a pond. Electric resistive heaters use a vast amount of electricity compared to a Geothermal Unit in order to heat a home. Gas Units are efficient but the recent rise of gas and fuel prices make these units much more expensive to operate than a Geothermal Unit.


Products/Homes/Buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. To learn more, please visit www.energystar.gov


The EER is the efficiency rating for the equipment at a particular pair of external and internal temperatures. SEER rating more accurately reflects overall system efficiency on a seasonal basis and EER reflects the system’s energy efficiency at peak day operations.


This is a measurement of the efficiency of cooling products. The U.S. Government's minimum efficiency level is 14 SEER for split systems and packaged units in our region. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the cooling product. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.


This is a measurement of a heat pump's heating efficiency. There is no governmental minimum rating. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heat pump's heating performance. HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor.


Coefficient Of Performance. A ratio that compares a heat pump system's heating efficiency to that of electric resistance heat. For example, a heat pump system with a COP of 3.0 provides heat at 3 times the efficiency of electric resistance heat. A heat pump's system COP will decrease as outdoor temperatures drop, eventually providing little or no efficiency advantage over electric resistance heat - and that's when your auxiliary heat strips start to heat your home.

Indoor Fan Motor

The Fan Motor that circulates air through the indoor coil and supply side of the duct system.

Outdoor Fan Motor

The Fan Motor that pulls air through the outdoor coil to cool the refrigerant or condense the refrigerant and remove heat from the refrigerant.

Bi-directional Expansion Valve

A metering device that is capable of metering refrigerant or bypassing the metering section depending on the direction the refrigerant is flowing.


Restricts or allows flow of refrigerant depending on which way the refrigerant is flowing.

Water Pump

An electric motor that pumps water (and antifreeze) through the plumbing system of the geothermal unit.

Antifreeze or Brine

The fluid that is added to water that circulates through the geothermal units plumbing system to keep the water from freezing.

A Note About Efficiencies: When you're getting ready to replace an older heating or cooling system, it's very important for you to get a Load Calculation done by your dealer/contractor. The greater the difference between the efficiency of your old system to the new system, the more likelihood that the dealer will recommend a smaller sized unit. This should not cause alarm, as the dealer, by running a Load Calculation, will be able to accurately size the system to the load in your home. It can be quite detrimental to equipment if the units are too large for the load in your home - they can start to "short cycle" (they run often but for very short periods of time, because they are pumping out too much heat/cooling and reach the thermostat's setting too quickly), which can shorten the life of the unit dramatically.

Operation of a GeoThermal Unit in Cooling Mode

     The Geothermal Unit operates normally in Cooling Mode as a normal air-conditioner. The Heat Pump uses the indoor coil as an evaporator and the outdoor coil as a condenser in the Cooling Mode. The reversing valve is energized or de-energized based on the manufacturers specification to direct the flow of refrigerant to the appropriate coils.

Heat Pump Cooling Cycle Animated
Operation of a GeoThermal Unit in Cooling Mode

Operation of a GeoThermal Unit in Heating Mode

      The Geothermal Unit operates in a reverse cycle in the Heating Mode. The Heat Pump uses the indoor coil as an condenser and the outdoor coil as an evaporator in the Heating Mode. The reversing valve is energized or de-energized based on the manufacturers specification to direct the flow of refrigerant to the appropriate coils. Whenever the outdoor coil, or evaporator section in the Heating Mode, detects ice formed on the coil, blockage of air through the coil, or senses a temperature usually around 42 degrees Fahrenheit or below - the Heat Pump will switch into Defrost Mode every 30, 60, or 90 minutes based on the settings on the Defrost Board. In the Defrost Mode - the Geothermal Unit will reverse cycle which will allow hot gas to enter the outdoor coil and defrost the coil. This will also make the indoor coil become cold and in turn to offset this temperature - the electric heat strips or auxiliary heat will come on. Also, the outdoor fan motor will stop during the Defrost Mode.

Heat Pump Heating Cycle Animated
Operation of a GeoThermal Unit in Heating Mode

Geothermal Loops

      Geothermal systems can utilize many different types of loops. They are defined as closed-loop or open-loop. Closed loops are loops that circulate water in closed and pressurized piping. These loops can be laid horizontally or vertically. These loops can also exist in ponds or other water sources. Open loop systems are loops that circulate water in open and nonpressurized piping. The most utilized technique of open loop systems is a loop that pumps from and back into a well. Both systems utilize water pump flow centers, but each one respectively are made differently than the other.

The following are pictures of different style loops:

Horizontal Loop

A horizontal loop field installation usually occurs in more rural areas or yards with lots of space. A horizontal loop field installation requires a great deal of land because a backhoe is used to dig up long trenches which are only a few feet deep (but below the frost line) in order to lay the necessary amount of piping. In some cases horizontal loop fields can be less costly to install than vertical because there is no drilling. Horizontal systems can be installed using an excavator or other ground moving machine and can be installed in 1-2 days.

Geothermal Vertical Loop

A vertical loop field is the most common installation process for a geothermal heat pump that is installed on smaller properties. During a vertical loop field installation a series of holes are drilled, each between 50-400 feet deep. Then, piping is fed down these holes and connected in a loop pattern. Once all of the pipes are connected together outside of the home they are threaded into your home and attached to the heat pump unit. This process is often completed by a well driller in 1-2 days.

Geothermal Well Loop

An open loop is an earth loop that uses the water from a well to heat and cool your home. The water is pumped from the well through the geothermal heat pump's water-to-refrigerant heat exchanger coil and then returned to the earth. In the cooling season it rejects heat from your home into the water, and in the heating season it absorbs heat from the water into your home.

Geothermal Pond Loop

A pond loop field can be installed when the property is located near a large body of fresh water such as a pond or lake. Trenches, which measure only a few feet deep, are dug from the house to the body of water. These trenches are then filled with pipes which are connected to coils that are laid at the bottom of the lake or pond. These coils, often called slinkys, utilize the temperature at the base of the lake or pond to heat and cool the home just like a horizontal or vertical loop field. The image to the left is a slinky loop