The Simple How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most unexpected things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can break down– that much less to maintain. And that by itself goes a long way toward cutting the overall energy costs of Burlington homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. the bulk of them are found in its most conspicuous 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 ambient temperatures. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into 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 from that point the heat is dispensed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground via those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, various geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already there and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F all year long. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the best way to go for your Burlington home? Look to this region’s geothermal wizards, the helpful folks at Crabbe Service.