The Basic Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What pretty much all people say they love 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 go haywire– that much less requiring maintenance. And that alone goes far in cutting the overall energy costs of Hattiesburg homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most critical 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. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one discreet package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are attached 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 to the earth through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, various geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The critical differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already there and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Remember this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Hattiesburg home? See this area’s geothermal experts, the cordial people at American Air Specialists.