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 isn’t free of all 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. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined 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 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 dispensed throughout a home by way 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 via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, various geothermal systems also produce 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 simply 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 all year long. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses 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 area’s geothermal specialists, the friendly people at Sinton Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc..