The Fundamental Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What just about everyone says they appreciate 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 go haywire– that much less to keep up. And that in and of itself makes a huge difference in decreasing the overall energy costs of Danville homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system does have some moving parts. the better part of them are found in its most critical 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. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are connected 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 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 underground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, many geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that already exists and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Remember this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F through the year. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Danville home? Turn to this area’s geothermal gurus, the cordial people at Geo Climate Control.