The Fundamental Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says they like best about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so few moving parts. There’s just that much less that can break down– that much less to maintain. And that in itself goes a long way toward lowering the overall energy costs of Pensacola homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


Of course, the system does have some moving parts. the better part of them are found in its most critical component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

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

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium the heat pump uses to transfer heat. This liquid courses through pipe loops buried underground and linked to the heat pump, which is kept 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 that point the heat is conveyed 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 underground via those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra bonus, various geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that already exists and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures usually remain at around 50º F through the year. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses considerably less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Pensacola home? See this area’s geothermal wizards, the cordial folks at Energy Systems.