The Simple Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most remarkable 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 needing maintenance. And that alone makes a significant difference in reducing the overall energy costs of Beckley homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system isn’t totally devoid of moving parts. the better part of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s powerplant. Its job 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. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses through underground loops of pipe that are linked to the above-ground heat pump. 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 means of 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 to the ground via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, more than a few geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The fundamental differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire 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. Remember this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Beckley home? See this region’s geothermal specialists, the friendly folks at Appalachian Heating.