The Fundamental Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the great things about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has almost no moving parts. There’s just that much less that can get screwed up– that much less requiring maintenance. And that alone plays a major role in lowering the overall energy costs of Long Island homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Still, there are some moving parts in the system. Most of them are found in its most conspicuous component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s powerplant. Its task 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 united in one discreet package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution incorporating antifreeze. This liquid courses 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 circulated throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season it runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground through those same buried loops. Oh, and as an added perk, lots of geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a typical furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that’s already present and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F year round. Result? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses substantially less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Long Island home? Turn to this region’s geothermal specialists, the helpful folks at ZBF Geothermal.