The basic concept of geothermal energy in air handling units is rather simple. First, the earth has a relatively constant temperature in its interior that stays around 13 degrees Celsius, or 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A geothermal system takes advantage of such a natural heat source to cool and heat a building. This natural source of energy can provide cooling in the summer and heating during the winter. As a result, installing a geothermal heat pump can easily result in saving at least 40 to 70 percent of your typical yearly heating costs, whether you are in possession of a home or a business with office space. Compared to conventional heating and cooling systems, you might save anywhere between 30 to 50 percent when you make the switch to geothermal energy to power your air handling units.
When you use geothermal energy in your air cooling and heating units, you aren't really doing anything different from heat pumps that use air sources, except that you save a lot more money because of how much more efficient geothermal systems are. Because geothermal energy units are at least three times more efficient than the average furnace powered by fossil fuels, it does not take long for you to break even financially. It is fair to say that for every unit of energy you pour into a geothermal energy system, you can have up to three units of energy available to power your heating or cooling system.
The essential mechanism by which a heat pump in a geothermal energy system works is through transferring heat from areas where it is at a lower temperature to areas where it is at a higher temperature. This is visible in air conditioning units installed in windows, or in heat pumps that use air sources. Geothermal energy pumps work similarly, but they use the warmth of the earth as a heat source. Refrigerants such as freon can be used as mediums by which heat can be transferred and circulated throughout an air handling unit.