The Fundamental How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most remarkable things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so few moving parts. There’s just that much less that can go wrong– that much less needing maintenance. And that by itself makes a great difference in lowering the overall energy costs of Central Minnesota homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system is not without any moving parts. the bulk of them are found in its most essential component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. Its job 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. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one compact package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid flows through pipe loops planted underground and connected 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 conveyed 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 along the way, various geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already there and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F through the year. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Central Minnesota home? Talk with this region’s geothermal pros, the helpful people at Geothermal Concept.