The Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most unexpected things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so few moving parts. There’s just that much less that can fall apart– that much less needing maintenance. And that alone makes a big difference in slashing the overall energy costs of Grand Forks Area homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

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

This is the engine that drives the system. Its task 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. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one discreet package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid courses through pipe loops buried underground and connected to the heat pump, which is positioned 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 there the heat is distributed throughout a home by means of 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 underground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, various geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that already exists and just 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 all year long. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses significantly less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Grand Forks Area home? See this area’s geothermal pros, the helpful folks at Ambient Geothermal.