The Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most unexpected things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so few moving parts. There’s just that much less that can fall apart– that much less needing maintenance. And that in and of itself goes a long way toward reducing the overall energy costs of Kitsap County homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system does have some moving parts. the bulk of them are found in its most essential component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. 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 combined in one unobtrusive package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid circulates through pipe loops buried 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 there the heat 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 as an extra bonus, lots of geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire 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 most often 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.