The Basic Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What the great majority of people say they like most 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 bad– that much less to keep up. And that alone makes a great difference in reducing the overall energy costs of Hattiesburg homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, there are some moving parts in the system. Most of them are found in its most important 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 seasonal temperatures. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one unobtrusive package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution containing antifreeze. This liquid courses through pipe loops buried 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 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 underground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in the process, many 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 burn fuel to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already present and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Remember this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F through the year. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses considerably less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Hattiesburg home? Talk with this region’s geothermal specialists, the cordial gang at BC's Heating and Air.