The Fundamental Properties and Purposes of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What the great majority of homeowners say they like best 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 to maintain. And that alone plays a major role in reducing the overall energy costs of New Haven County homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


Still, there are some moving parts in the system. the majority 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 weather30. Thus, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner united in one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid flows through pipe loops buried underground and attached to the heat pump, which is positioned 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 distributed throughout a home by means 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 to the ground by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, lots of geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The basic distinction between a geothermal heat pump and a more familiar furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Rather, it takes heat that already exists and simply moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Keep this in mind, too: underground temperatures typically remain at around 50º F year round. The upshot? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires considerably less energy to cool your home than typical air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your New Haven County home? Consult with this area’s geothermal pros, the cordial folks at Nero Air Conditioning and Heating.