The Basic Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says they like most of all about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so little in the way of moving parts. There’s just that much less that can fall apart– that much less to maintain. And that alone goes far in decreasing the overall energy costs of Mitchell homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most vital component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. 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 the climate30. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one discreet package.

The medium a heat pump uses to transfer heat is either water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are secured 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 from there the heat is dispensed 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 underground via those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The critical differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that already exists and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F year round. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the right solution for your Mitchell home? Look to this area’s geothermal specialists, the cordial folks at Affordable Geothermal LLC.