The Simple Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the most appreciated things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can fall apart– that much less requiring maintenance. And that alone plays a major role in reducing the overall energy costs of New Jersey homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system does have some moving parts. Most of them are found in its most vital 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 weather30. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner combined in one unobtrusive package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are connected to the above-ground heat pump. 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 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, more than a few geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The critical differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning 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. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures most often remain at around 50º F year round. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses considerably less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your New Jersey home? Look to this region’s geothermal specialists, the friendly people at Energy Smarts Mechanical.