The Simple Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What just about everyone says they like best about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can break down– that much less to need maintenance. And that alone goes far in lowering the overall energy costs of Lafayette homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

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

This is the system’s engine. Its purpose 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. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one discreet package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium the heat pump uses to transfer heat. This liquid flows 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 there the heat is dispensed throughout a home by means of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process is reversed: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground via 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 ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that already exists and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Understand this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F through the year. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses considerably less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Lafayette home? Look to this region’s geothermal pros, the friendly people at Korschot's Heating and Air.