The Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What practically everyone says they love 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 go wrong– that much less to keep up. And that in and of itself makes a significant difference in slashing the overall energy costs of Chillicothe homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


Still, the system isn’t totally devoid of moving parts. Most of them are found in its most essential 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 ambient temperatures. As such, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner integrated into one unobtrusive package.

How the heat pump transfers heat is with water or an antifreeze solution. This liquid courses 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 the heat is then is conveyed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season it runs in reverse: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground through those same buried loops. Oh, and as an extra bonus, many geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The fundamental differentiator between a geothermal heat pump and a standard furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat. Instead 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 almost always hold at around 50º F year round. The payoff? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires substantially less energy to cool your home than regular air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system the right solution for your Chillicothe home? Talk with this region’s geothermal specialists, the cordial gang at Combs Heating & Cooling.