The Fundamental Properties and Purposes 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 maintain. And that alone goes far in decreasing the overall energy costs of Columbia homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, 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 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 ambient temperatures. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one discreet package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are linked 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 it runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added bonus, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that already exists and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures usually remain at around 50º F all year long. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Columbia home? See this area’s geothermal specialists, the friendly folks at WaterFurnace.