The Basic 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 to need maintenance. And that by itself goes a long way toward slashing the overall energy costs of Dexter homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

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

This is the system’s engine. 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 the climate30. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one compact package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium the heat pump uses to transfer heat. This liquid courses through pipe loops planted underground and linked 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 circulated throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season it runs the other way ’round: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, various geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a traditional furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already present and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F all year long. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Dexter home? Consult with this region’s geothermal gurus, the friendly gang at Haley Mechanical.