The Basic How and Why 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 wrong– that much less to maintain. And that in itself goes far in reducing the overall energy costs of Central Ohio homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, there are some moving parts in the system. 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 climate30. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one discreet package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid courses through pipe loops planted underground and secured 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 from that point the heat is distributed 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 to the ground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, many geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already there and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep 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 requires substantially less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Central Ohio home? Look to this area’s geothermal specialists, the friendly folks at Westin Air.