The Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What most people say they appreciate most of all 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 needing maintenance. And that in itself goes far in reducing the overall energy costs of Kitsap County homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, 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 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 seasonal temperatures. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one discreet package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid circulates 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 conveyed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the exact opposite happens: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the earth via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, lots of geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The fundamental difference between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning 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. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures almost always stay at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Kitsap County home? See this area’s geothermal wizards, the helpful folks at Thermal Systems.