The Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most unexpected 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 requiring maintenance. And that alone makes a big difference in decreasing the overall energy costs of Beatrice homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. the bulk of them are found in its most essential component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. Its job 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 season30. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one discreet package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses through underground loops of pipe that are attached 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 it runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, more than a few geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar 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. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures typically remain at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Beatrice home? Look to this region’s geothermal wizards, the cordial people at Noakes Heating & Air.