The Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the great things 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 to keep up. And that alone plays a major role in reducing the overall energy costs of Mt. Pleasant homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system does have some moving parts. the better part of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s powerplant. 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 the weather30. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution containing antifreeze. This liquid circulates through pipe loops planted 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 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 underground through those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, many geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

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

So … is a geothermal system best for your Mt. Pleasant home? See this area’s geothermal wizards, the friendly gang at Moline Heating & Cooling.