The Simple Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What almost everybody says they appreciate most of all 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 go bad– that much less needing maintenance. And that by itself makes a significant difference in lowering the overall energy costs of Abilene homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


That said, the system is not without any moving parts. the bulk of them are found in its most critical component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s workhorse. 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 the season30. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one discreet package.

The medium by which a heat pump transfers heat is either water or an antifreeze solution. 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 the heat is then is circulated throughout a home by way of either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the exact opposite happens: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it underground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra bonus, lots of geothermal systems also supply domestic hot water.

The fundamental differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already present and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures most often stay at around 50º F through the year. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses substantially less energy to cool your home than conventional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the answer for your Abilene home? Consult with this region’s geothermal gurus, the friendly folks at Southwest Air Conditioning.