The Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What the great majority of homeowners say they like most about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so little in the way of moving parts. There’s just that much less that can break down– that much less to maintain. And that by itself goes a long way toward cutting the overall energy costs of New Jersey homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

Of course, the system is not without any moving parts. Most of them are found in its most important component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s engine. 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 climate30. That being the case, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one discreet package.

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium the heat pump uses to transfer heat. This liquid flows through underground loops of pipe that are secured 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 there the heat is distributed throughout a home by way of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season it runs the other way ’round: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the earth via those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra bonus, many geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The fundamental differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that already exists and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Remember this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than standard air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your New Jersey home? Consult with this region’s geothermal wizards, the friendly folks at J. Zanes LLC.