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. Most of them are found in its most conspicuous 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. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. 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 means of 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 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 present and merely 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 uses significantly less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

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