The Simple How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most appreciated 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 alone plays a huge role in slashing the overall energy costs of Lancaster homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, 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 the weather30. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into 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 conveyed throughout a home by means of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season it runs the other way ’round: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground via those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra bonus, various geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a traditional furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that already exists and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Remember this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Lancaster home? Look to this area’s geothermal experts, the helpful folks at Gochnauer at Home.