The Fundamental Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What pretty much all homeowners say 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 wrong– that much less requiring maintenance. And that in itself plays a significant role in lowering the overall energy costs of Georgetown County homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

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

This is the system’s engine. 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 the weather30. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one compact 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 dispensed 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, more than a few geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning 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. Understand this, too: underground temperatures typically remain at around 50º F through the year. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Georgetown County home? Consult with this area’s geothermal experts, the helpful folks at Waccamaw Heating & Cooling.