The Fundamental Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What pretty much all homeowners say they appreciate best about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can get screwed up– that much less to keep up. And that alone plays a huge role in reducing the overall energy costs of Traverse City homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. Most of them are found in its most essential 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 the climate30. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one unobtrusive package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium the heat pump uses to transfer heat. This liquid courses through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is secured above ground. 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 distributed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the exact opposite happens: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the earth through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, various geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The basic distinction 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 merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures typically remain at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Traverse City home? Turn to this area’s geothermal pros, the friendly people at D&W Mechanical.