The Simple Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says they love most of all about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so little in the way of moving parts. There’s just that much less that can go bad– that much less needing maintenance. And that in and of itself makes a big difference in reducing the overall energy costs of Greater Cincinnati homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s powerplant. 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 ambient temperatures. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one discreet package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid circulates through underground loops of pipe that are linked 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 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 via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, lots of geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire 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. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Greater Cincinnati home? See this area’s geothermal specialists, the cordial gang at Bill Spade Electric, Heating & Cooling.