The Fundamental Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What most homeowners say they appreciate most about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can get screwed up– that much less needing maintenance. And that in and of itself goes far in slashing the overall energy costs of Columbus homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system is not without any moving parts. the better part of them are found in its most important component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. 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. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one discreet package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid flows through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is connected 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 there the heat is dispensed throughout a home by 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The fundamental distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that already exists and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F all year long. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Columbus home? See this area’s geothermal experts, the cordial gang at Hottinger Geothermal.