The Basic Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What most people say they appreciate most 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 to need maintenance. And that alone makes a great difference in cutting the overall energy costs of Fort Wayne homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, there are some moving parts in the system. Most of them are found in its most vital 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 ambient temperatures. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses through underground loops of pipe that are secured 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 conveyed throughout a home by 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 to the earth via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, many geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential distinction 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 there and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures most often remain at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the right solution for your Fort Wayne home? See this area’s geothermal gurus, the helpful people at Masters Heating & Cooling, Inc..