Inside a Geothermal Heat Pump

Recently, many inquisitive Columbia residents have asked WaterFurnace about geothermal. Sure, geothermal heat pumps use the earth to condition your home... but how do they do it?

This fascinating system works thanks to one simple principle: Given the opportunity, heat flows towards areas that are cooler. That's why an ice cube melts and it's the mechanism behind a geothermal heat pump. Here's how geothermal works :

Combustion is not the source of heat in a geothermal system. It simply collects and moves it using the principle stated above. In order to carry heat energy from one major component of the system to another, a special liquid called refrigerant is used. The refrigerant is pumped throughout the system by a powerful centrifugal pump called a compressor.

During the winter, heat from the earth is absorbed into the loop water and carried up to the coaxial coil. The inner tube of the coil contains water from the loop while the outer tube contains cold refrigerant. The loop water passes its warmth through the walls of the coil and heats the refrigerant. The refrigerant carries that heat into the compressor where it’s put under a great deal of pressure - making it very hot.

Next, the hot refrigerant is pumped through the metal pipes and thin fins of the air coil. Air is forced across the hot air coil, which releases its heat into the air. A blower circulates the heated air throughout your duct system and the heat that began in the earth is radiated throughout your home. At the same time, the refrigerant in the air coil is pumped through an area of low pressure called the expansion valve - making it very cold. The cold refrigerant is now ready to be circulated back to the coaxial coil to absorb heat from the loop and the process can begin again.

To cool your home, the system literally reverses the entire process using a reversing valve. Refrigerant flows in the opposite direction and order of components.

WaterFurnace hopes this information has been helpful in your decision to install an energy-saving geothermal system. We install one of the most efficient geothermal heat pumps on the market; WaterFurnace. We serve all of Columbia and the surrounding areas. Contact us today.