The Basic How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most appreciated 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 wrong– that much less to need maintenance. And that alone plays a huge role in decreasing the overall energy costs of Elizabethtown homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. the bulk 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 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 flows through pipe loops buried 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 the heat is then is circulated 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 to the ground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in the process, more than a few geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already present and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Remember this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F all year long. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Elizabethtown home? Turn to this region’s geothermal experts, the friendly gang at Dever Enterprises.