How it Works

Elements of a Geoexchange System


A geoexchange system is composed of three parts:

   1. Loop Field

   2. Heat Pump

   3. Delivery System



These three elements create the most efficient, cost effective, comfortable, and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system available today.  A system that has no combustion, is simple to maintain, and has almost no annual maintenance costs.


Loop Field



A loop field is made up of a series of loops that are installed in the ground to absorb heat. Each loop can be 80 to 800 feet long depending on the design. An average 3000 square foot home typically requires 4 to 6 loops.  A solution of water and food grade antifreeze are circulated through each loop to absorb the heat stored in the ground.



Header InstallationThe Header is a trench that is dug down 8 to 10 feet at the end of the loop field. The header is dug large enough to provide access to all of the individual loops. The  individual loops are woven together to create an evenly balanced field and and then attached to a single pipe to carry the solution into the home. Once the line set is run into the house the header is filled in.


Line Set


Vertical Loop Field And Header – Following Spring

A single “line set” consisting of two pipes – enter and return – is installed between the header and the heat pump inside the building. The line set brings the solution in the loop field into the heat pump in the building. Once the heat is extracted the line set carries the solution back into the loop field.

Lines sets are typically installed through trenching or horizontal boring.

Materials & Warranty

Loop fields are made of High Density Polyethylene (PE) pipe that carry a 50 year warranty and have been aged out to 100 years.

Heat Pump

UMR 7 Series

WaterFurnace 7 Series

Geoexchange systems use a “ground source heat pump” to move heat back and forth between the ground and the building. The heat pump is the “heart” of the system because it makes the “exchange” between the building and the ground.

A heat pump works by using a combination of refrigerant and pressure in a compressor to move heat from one place to another place.

The heat pump runs on electricity. For every 1 unit of electricity used, the heat pump gets 4 to 5 units of heat from the ground, allowing geoexchange systems to reach 500 to 600 percent efficiency!

UMR Heat Pumps

WaterFurnace 5 Series Split

Heat pumps have a 22.5 year life expectancy, compared to 14-16 for a fossil fuel furnace. Most brands of heat pumps carry a ten year warranty.

WaterFurnace provides a 10 year, non-prorated, warranty that covers both equipment and labor on its ground source heat pumps.

Delivery System

A geoexchange system uses traditional delivery systems to distribute the heat and cooling throughout the home. Geoexchange will work with both forced air systems (duct work) and radiant systems (tubes and radiators).


In new construction, duct work and radiant floors are often combined to create unsurpassed performance and comfort.

In retrofit installations the geothermal system is typically designed to work with the existing delivery system in the building. So every retrofit application requires a custom designed geothermal system. Therefore, it is extremely important in retrofit installations to use an installer who has the knowledge to design a system that will maximize performance and limit capital investment.