The Simple How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What pretty much all people 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 wrong– that much less to keep up. And that in and of itself makes a big difference in slashing the overall energy costs of San Antonio homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

That said, the system is not without any 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 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 ambient temperatures. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are linked 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 the heat is then is circulated throughout a home by way of 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 underground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in the process, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The critical differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel afire to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that’s already there and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures usually remain at around 50º F all year long. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your San Antonio home? Speak with this area’s geothermal specialists, the friendly people at Southwest Mechanical Services.