Homemade Ground Source Heat Pump

Written by les belzer
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Homemade Ground Source Heat Pump
You can use a geothermal heat pump to heat and cool your country house. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A ground source heat pump can reduce your heating and cooling costs. You may pay a substantial amount of money in initial costs or you can design it and do some of the work yourself to save on the capital outlay.


A heat pump is a device that mechanically takes heat from a warm reservoir and moves this energy to a cooler one. It can have an air-based reservoir, water-based reservoir, or a solid-based one, such as the earth beneath the ground. A geothermal heat pump works on the principle that soil several feet beneath the surface is warmer than the air in the winter and cooler than the air in the summer.


You use the Earth as a reservoir for your geothermal heat pump by running a pipe or plastic tubing through the ground. Your closed loop system is pushed by a pump through the ground and a device in your house removes the heat in the winter. In the summer, this device works in reverse to cool your home.

Ground Loop

To begin your homemade, ground loop, geothermal system you must bury a sufficient amount of pipe or tubing in the ground. You must excavate to a depth between 8 feet and 10 feet and then loop the pipe or tubing in the ground, finally covering it back up with the removed soil. Copper makes excellent tubing for this project but plastic is much less expensive.


The loop is then run into your house where you need to have a pump sufficiently strong for the size of your loop. The heat is then removed from the water running through your pipe with a heat exchanger. This heat exchanger is similar to the radiator in your car.

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