The Fundamental How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most unexpected things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can break down– that much less to keep up. And that by itself plays a huge role in reducing the overall energy costs of Topeka homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. Most of them are found in its most critical component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. Its purpose 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. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one discreet package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution containing antifreeze. This liquid courses through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is connected 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 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 to the ground via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, many geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that’s already present and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F all year long. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Topeka home? Talk with this region’s geothermal specialists, the friendly gang at Ground Source, Inc..