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How Does a Geothermal System Heat?

It can be hard to imagine how any heating system works without generating a flame of some sort, or using electricity to power a heating element. But there is a device that heats using refrigerant: the heat pump. And in a geothermal system, the ground-source heat pump is one of the key components of the system. A geothermal system works very differently from traditional heating systems, and understanding how they work can help you decide if a geothermal system is a good HVAC option for your home in Mt. Lebanon, PA.

The Ground-Source Heat Pump

Heat pumps move heat from one location to another. During the summer, the refrigerant in the system absorbs the heat and humidity in your indoor air and transfers it to the outside. In the winter months, heat pumps absorb the available heat in the outdoor air, concentrate it, then disperse it to your indoor living spaces.

A ground-source heat pump is similar, but in the winter the heat absorbed by the refrigerant comes from the ground, beneath the frost line, which is typically 6-8 feet below the surface. This is where the ground loop of the geothermal system comes into play: environmentally-friendly refrigerant absorbs the latent heat in the ground, then transfers it to the heat pump in your home, where it is concentrated and used to heat your home.

Benefits of a Geothermal System

So why choose a geothermal system? First, like any other heat pump system it can both heat and cool. Second, a geothermal system is the most energy efficient HVAC system you can choose: for every unit of energy the system uses, it provides 3-4 units in return. This means a geothermal system has an efficiency of 300-400%. They are also quite versatile, as they can be used with ductwork or ductless indoor blowers.

Want to see if a geothermal HVAC system is a good choice for your home? Call the geothermal experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

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