The How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most appreciated things 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 fall apart– that much less requiring maintenance. And that by itself goes a long way toward cutting the overall energy costs of Defiance homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most important 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 the season30. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one compact package.

The medium a heat pump uses to transfer heat is either water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid flows through pipe loops buried underground and linked to the heat pump, which is positioned 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 the other way ’round: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, various geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a typical furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that already exists and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F year round. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Defiance home? Speak with this region’s geothermal specialists, the cordial people at Schlatters Plumbing Heating & AC.