The Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says 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 plays a significant role in reducing the overall energy costs of Idaho Falls homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.

 

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

This is the engine that drives the system. 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 the season30. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one unobtrusive package.

The medium a heat pump uses to transfer heat is either water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid circulates through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is linked above ground. 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 dispensed 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra perk, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The crucial differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Instead it takes heat that’s already there and merely moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Be aware of this, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F all year long. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses considerably less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system best for your Idaho Falls home? Turn to this region’s geothermal specialists, the cordial gang at Conan Heating and Geothermal.