The How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most remarkable things 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 to need maintenance. And that by itself goes a long way toward lowering the overall energy costs of West Chester homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system does have some moving parts. the bulk 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 ambient temperatures. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one unobtrusive package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution incorporating antifreeze. This liquid courses through underground loops of pipe that are connected 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 from there the heat is circulated throughout a home by means of 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 underground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added bonus, various geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a typical furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel 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. Understand this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your West Chester home? Look to this region’s geothermal specialists, the friendly people at Sinton Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc..