The How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the best things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can fall apart– that much less requiring maintenance. And that alone goes far in cutting the overall energy costs of Hart homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, there are some moving parts in the system. the better part of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s engine. Its purpose is to transfer heat. And it transfers heat either from the ground into your house or from your house into the ground, depending on seasonal temperatures. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is linked above ground. During heating season the liquid draws heat from the ground, the heat pump draws the warm liquid up into refrigerant coils, and from that point the heat is distributed throughout a home by way of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the exact opposite happens: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, various geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a traditional furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already there and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Hart home? See this area’s geothermal gurus, the friendly gang at Adams Heating & Cooling II.