The Fundamental Properties and Purposes 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 go bad– that much less to keep up. And that by itself makes a big difference in slashing the overall energy costs of Pittsburgh homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

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

This is the engine that drives the system. 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 the climate30. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid courses through pipe loops planted underground and connected 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 the heat is then is circulated 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 ground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, many geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel 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. Understand this, too: underground temperatures usually remain at around 50º F year round. The payoff? 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 Pittsburgh home? See this area’s geothermal pros, the helpful people at E & D Company HVAC LLC.