The Basic How and Why of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What practically everyone says they appreciate 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 requiring maintenance. And that by itself makes a huge difference in reducing the overall energy costs of Myrtle Beach homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


That said, the system isn’t free of all moving parts. the bulk of them are found in its most important component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

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

Water – or an antifreeze solution – is the medium by which the heat pump transfers heat. 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 from there the heat is distributed 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 by way of those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere in all this, more than a few geothermal systems also produce domestic hot water.

The crucial difference between a geothermal heat pump and a ordinary furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t set fuel burning to generate heat. Rather, 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 year round. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system uses considerably less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system what’s needed for your Myrtle Beach home? Speak with this area’s geothermal experts, the friendly gang at J & J Air.