The Simple Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What most people say they appreciate most of all 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 in itself goes a long way toward slashing the overall energy costs of Wilmington homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, 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 engine that drives the system. Its task 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 rolled into one compact package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid circulates through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is attached 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 it runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra perk, more than a few geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The fundamental differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar 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 all year long. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Wilmington home? Speak with this region’s geothermal pros, the helpful folks at O'Brien Service Company.