The Fundamental Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the best things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can go bad– that much less to maintain. And that in itself makes a great difference in decreasing the overall energy costs of Williamsport homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. 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. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one discreet package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution containing antifreeze. This liquid flows through pipe loops installed 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 dispensed throughout a home by 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 somewhere in the process, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Rather, 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 most often hold at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Williamsport home? Turn to this area’s geothermal specialists, the helpful people at Hepler Geothermal Inc..