The Basic Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most unexpected 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 haywire– that much less to maintain. And that in and of itself goes far in reducing the overall energy costs of Columbus homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, there are some moving parts in the system. the majority of them are found in its most important component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s engine. Its task is to transfer heat. And it transfers heat either from the ground into your house or from your house into the ground, depending on ambient temperatures. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one discreet 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 way of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process is reversed: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added bonus, many geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that’s already there and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F all year long. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Columbus home? Look to this region’s geothermal pros, the friendly gang at Patriot Air Comfort Systems.