The Basic Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says they like most 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 isn’t free of all moving parts. Most of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the engine that drives the system. 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. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one unobtrusive package.

The medium by which a heat pump transfers heat is either water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid circulates through pipe loops planted underground and connected to the heat pump, which is kept 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 circulated throughout a home by means 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 through those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, lots of geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The crucial differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning 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. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

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