Geothermal heat pumps: energy-efficient
heating and cooling using the constant
temperature of the earth

A geothermal heat pump, also known as a ground source heat pump or Geoexchange, taps the energy stored in the earth to provide energy-efficient heating, cooling and hot water for buildings. The technology uses the constant temperature of the earth as the medium of heat exchange instead of outside air temperature.

Less than 10 feet beneath the surface of the earth, the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. In winter, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it. In summer, the ground temperature is cooler than the air above it. A geothermal heat pump takes advantage of this temperature difference by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger.

Since 1995, Meline Engineering has designed geothermal heat pump systems for public and government buildings, commercial buildings and private residences. The technology has been in use since the 1940s, and is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Geothermal can be cost-effective for both new construction and retrofits. Low operating and maintenance costs, durability and energy conservation make geothermal an excellent choice for many applications, including schools, high-rises, government buildings, restaurants and homes.

Residential hot water

In addition to space conditioning, geothermal heat pumps can provide domestic hot water when the system is operating. Many residential systems are now equipped with desuperheaters that transfer excess heat from the geothermal heat pump’s compressor to the house’s hot water tank. A desuperheater provides no hot water during the spring and fall when the geothermal heat pump system is not operating; however, because the geothermal heat pump is so much more efficient than other means of water heating, manufacturers are now beginning to offer “full demand” systems that use a separate heat exchanger to meet all of a household’s hot water needs. These units cost-effectively provide hot water as quickly as any competing system.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

How Geothermal Works

Geothermal Cost

Types of Geothermal Systems

Find Rebates / Tax Credits

Federal Tax Incentives for Residential Geothermal Heat Pumps

Federal Tax Incentives for Commercial Geothermal Heat Pumps

Resources & Links


Why install geothermal?

Saves money on energy and maintenance

  • Savings of 50-70% on heating (over propane) and 25-40% on cooling over conventional HVAC systems.

  • Lifecycle costs lower than regular HVAC systems

  • Water can be heated with waste heat at no cost in summer and substantial savings in winter

  • Investments can usually be recouped in 5-10 years

Flexible, efficient and durable

  • Different parts of a building can be heated and cooled simultaneously

  • Multiple zones can have individual temperature controls

  • 50%-80% less space required for mechanical equipment

  • No outside equipment to hide or protect from vandalism

  • All-electric, eliminating multiple utility services

  • Ground heat exchanger is maintenance-free and will last 40+ years

Environmentally responsible

  • Energy-efficient: the earth provides 70% of energy required to heat and cool, reducing fossil fuel consumption and associated emissions

  • Uses underground loops to transfer heat, with no external venting and no air pollution

  • Endorsed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency