The 4 Steps of Geothermal Heat Pump Installation

Step 1: Get a Quote

An independent Heating and Cooling contractor (HVAC Contractor) will come to your house to give you a quote (see our article How to Find a Qualified Geothermal Contractor to find the best contractor in your area). Your quote will be based on the size of unit and loop field required.

What determines the size of my unit and loop field?

First of all, the unit is the system that is installed inside your home while the loop field is the area of piping that will be installed in the ground outside of your house.

The size of your unit and loop field will be determined by the size of your house as well as how tight or lose your house is. House size is pretty self–explanatory; the larger your house the larger your unit/loop field will need to be. The tightness of your house relates to how much the outside air affects your homes internal air. In many older homes, windows and doors have points of air leakage allowing air inside to escape and outside air to enter. If your house is well insulated, and doors and windows are tightly sealed, you can install a smaller geothermal heat pump.

Step Two: Which Installation Process is Right for You?

There are two ways to install a Geothermal Heat Pump: Vertically and Horizontally. When you receive your quotes, the contractor will help determine which installation method to use. The differences between vertical and horizontal installation are the depth of holes and the amount of land required.

Vertical InstallationvertR_sml

The most common process for installing a geothermal heat pump in urban areas is vertical installation. During vertical installation a few holes are dug in your yard, each hundreds of feet deep. These holes are then tied together and connected to your house.

Horizontal Installation:

Horizontal installation of a geothermal heat pump is used when you have a great deal of land or drilling is extremely tough horzR_sml(i.e. extremely mountainous and rocky terrain). During horizontal installation a backhoe is used to dig up an extremely wide area but less than 10ft deep.

Step 3: Begin Installation

Once you have selected your contractor (after getting quotes from at least two contractors, see How to Find a Qualified Geothermal Contractor) and installation type, you can begin the installation process.

Geothermal heat pump installation will begin outside of your house. During vertical installation, once the holes are drilled, pipes are pushed into the holes in a U-shape formation. These are then filled with grout—a substance with an oatmeal like consistency—which creates better thermal conductivity eliminating air. Then the holes are tied together and a 5ft trench is dug back to your home. A hole is dug in your home, the pipes go into your home, and the unit is installed inside. The pipes are then filled with glycol (an anti-freeze type solution) and your system turned on. The process is similar for horizontal installation, however the grouting process is eliminated.


How long will installation take?

It may sound like a daunting process but installation will only take approximately 3 or 4 days and up to a week. The length of time needed varies depending on the drilling conditions. If the ground is soft and easy to drill, your system will be up and running within a few days!

Step 4: Save money and the environment!

Now that your geothermal heat pump is installed you will immediately begin reaping the benefits of this energy efficiently and environmentally friendly geothermal heat pump.

Still not convinced? See the following related articles on the benefits of Geothermal Energy

Cost Benefits of a Geothermal Heat Pump

Efficiency of Geothermal Heat Pump

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Comments (4)


  1. Geothermal Heating Ohio Valley says:

    This one’s so informational. It is doing the process where you can save money and at the same time save our Mother Earth with recourse to ways and means of generating energy and less abusing the earth.

  2. Mike Smit says:

    The middle school in my town uses it and it is pretty reliable, but i think expensive to install. Anyway, in my opinion, this is not new technology, it is the FUTURE.

  3. Mr A says:

    This is a good idea that works! Problem is that it is very expensive to drill the necessary depths to run the piping. You can start saving money after 20 years of paying for the install.

  4. vickie says:

    we just bought a home in ohio with geothermal and have read all I can find on it. we have 2 blue lids that are about 10 ft. from the house marked poisonous gas. what are these. and the loop field in the yard since it has been very dry is turning yellow and grass dying. is this normal?

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