The 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 bad– that much less requiring maintenance. And that in and of itself plays a major role in decreasing the overall energy costs of Denver homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, the system isn’t totally devoid of moving parts. the bulk 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 climate30. Consequently, 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 loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is attached 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 way 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, more than a few geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn 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. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F through the year. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the right way to go for your Denver home? Talk with this area’s geothermal specialists, the friendly people at WaterFurnace .