The Fundamental Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most appreciated things 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 fall apart– that much less to maintain. And that by itself makes a big difference in slashing the overall energy costs of Cape Cod homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. Most of them are found in its most critical component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the engine that drives the system. 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 weather30. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one compact package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid circulates through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is linked 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 dispensed 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 to the earth by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, many geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential 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 there and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Recognize this, too: underground temperatures typically remain at around 50º F through the year. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Cape Cod home? Turn to this region’s geothermal wizards, the helpful people at Atlantic Well Drilling.