The How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What the great majority of homeowners say they like most of all about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can go haywire– that much less to keep up. And that in itself goes a long way toward decreasing the overall energy costs of Starkville homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system isn’t totally devoid of moving parts. Most of them are found in its most vital component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. 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 the weather30. Consequently, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses 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 distributed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the process runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the earth via those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra perk, many geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a traditional furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already there and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F all year long. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Starkville home? Look to this area’s geothermal wizards, the cordial folks at Mid South Air Conditioning, Inc..