The Simple How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What practically everyone says they love best 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 requiring maintenance. And that alone makes a huge difference in slashing the overall energy costs of Big Rapids homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system is not without any 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 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 season30. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses through pipe loops planted underground and attached 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 way of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process is reversed: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground through those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, various geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a typical furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that already exists and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Big Rapids home? See this region’s geothermal specialists, the friendly gang at Stratz Heating & Cooling, Inc..