The How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What pretty much all homeowners say they like most about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can fall apart– that much less requiring maintenance. And that alone plays a significant role in cutting the overall energy costs of Defiance homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


Still, there are some moving parts in the system. Most of them are found in its most critical 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 united in one discreet package.

The medium a heat pump uses to transfer heat is either water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid circulates 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 the heat is then is distributed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process is reversed: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground through those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, various geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The critical 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 already exists and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often hold at around 50º F year round. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Defiance home? Look to this region’s geothermal pros, the cordial people at Schlatters Plumbing Heating & AC.