The How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What just about everyone says they love most about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can break down– that much less requiring maintenance. And that in itself makes a significant difference in cutting the overall energy costs of Boone homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most important 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 the season30. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one compact package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid circulates through underground loops of pipe that are linked 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 either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, various geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The critical differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already there and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Understand this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F year round. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the best solution for your Boone home? See this region’s geothermal experts, the cordial people at Scott Brothers Heating & Air.