The Simple Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the best things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so few moving parts. There’s just that much less that can go bad– that much less to maintain. And that by itself goes a long way toward decreasing the overall energy costs of Greensburg homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, there are some moving parts in the system. Most of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the engine that drives the system. Its job is to transfer heat. And it transfers heat either from the ground into your house or from your house into the ground, depending on ambient temperatures. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium the heat pump uses to transfer heat. This liquid courses through underground loops of pipe that are connected to the above-ground heat pump. During heating season the liquid draws heat from the ground, the heat pump draws the warm liquid up into refrigerant coils, and the heat is then is circulated throughout a home by way of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season it runs the other way ’round: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the earth through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in the process, many geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a traditional furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already present and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F all year long. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Greensburg home? Look to this region’s geothermal specialists, the cordial gang at Wallpe Heating & Cooling.