The Fundamental Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says they like best about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so little in the way of moving parts. There’s just that much less that can get screwed up– that much less to maintain. And that alone plays a huge role in lowering the overall energy costs of Knox County homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, 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 engine that drives the system. Its role is to transfer heat. And it transfers heat either from the ground into your house or from your house into the ground, depending on seasonal temperatures. Thus, 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 pipe loops installed 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 from that point the heat is conveyed 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, many geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The basic difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel 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. Remember this, too: underground temperatures most often stay 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 the answer for your Knox County home? See this area’s geothermal gurus, the helpful gang at Cosby Heating and Cooling.