What Are Geothermal Heat Pumps?

Tapping into Earth as an energy resource is an age-old practice, not just something read about in sci-fi literature. Geothermal heat pumps, also known as ground source heat pumps (GSHP), do just this to heat and cool homes in a highly efficient manner.

So just what is a heat pump? A heat pump is different than more traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, like forced-air systems, in that it transfers heat from location to location, like from outdoors here in Rock Hill to indoors, instead of creating its own heat or cool air.

At Panther Heating and Cooling, we know what it takes to keep you comfortable in your home. And a heat pump could be an ideal solution for you.

How Do They Work?

The earth remains at a constant temperature, and down about six to 10 feet below the surface the temperature is steadily reading between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on its location. Tapping into this temperature allows geothermal heat pumps to operate in most any climate for heating and cooling.

In the cooler months, the geothermal heat pump takes its heat from the ground and transfers it indoors to warm your house. In the warmer months, it extracts the warm air from your home and dumps it outdoors to the cooler ground. All this earth heat exchange is conducted via the outdoor ground heat exchanger.

The ground heat exchanger is one of three parts in a geothermal heat pump system. The other two parts are the indoor heat pump unit and the ductwork, or the air-delivery system. The ground heat exchanger is the system of pipes used in either an open-loop or closed-loop system. The majority of the systems installed in the United States used a closed-loop system with their geothermal heat pumps.

The difference between an open-loop and closed-loop system is the use of ground water. An open-loop system connects directly to a ground water source, like a pond or a well, and pumps the water directly to the heat pump for heating and cooling. A closed-loop system is comprised of a series of looping pipes underground filled with a heat-exchanging liquid that continually travels through the pipes. These pipes either can be installed vertically or horizontally, depending on your South Carolina yard.

In an open-loop geothermal heat pump, the ground-sourced water is directly pumped to the heat pump. The heat is extracted from the water and transferred to a refrigerant, processed by the heat pump, and sent into your home.

When the water is cooled, it returns to its source through a separate discharge well, or it’s pumped back to the pond. When cool air is needed, the heat is extracted from your home’s air and then cooled by the source water.

In a closed-loop system, the fluid that runs through the underground-buried piping, usually plastic, absorbs the heat from the earth and travels to the indoor heat pump and compressor. They concentrate the heat, then the indoor coil disperses it into your home.

Once the fluid is cooled, it circulates back through the piping again to absorb more heat. When the temperatures inside your home are hotter and cool air is what’s wanted, just like with the open-loop system, the heat is extracted. But here, the cool earth absorbs the heat.

In both these systems, the warmer or cooler air is distributed throughout your home by your ductwork.

Do They Have Any Advantages?

Though these heat pumps are more costly to install, they have several advantages to compensate for their initial costs that are worth considering:
• They can be installed in most any climate due to the constant temperature of the below-surface earth.

• These heat pumps are extremely efficient and can save up to 25 to 50 percent on energy per year compared to more traditional heating and cooling systems.

• Because much of these systems are located underground, their maintenance is extremely low beyond filter changes and periodic checks.

• When properly maintained, depending on the type of system installed, you can expect a system life span of more than 20 years.

• According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), geothermal heat pumps are the most environmentally safe and cost-effective heating and cooling system available.

• Their environmental footprint is extremely small. They don’t use fossil fuels to operate nor do they expel any fumes, odors, flames, or carbon monoxide.

• These systems heat and cool your home evenly, not producing the uneven hot and cold air blasts associated with more traditional systems. They are also quieter than other systems––usually about the same level of noise as your refrigerator.

Contact Us Today

Our Panther Heating and Cooling team members here in Rock Hill, South Carolina, are experts at installing, repairing, and maintaining geothermal heat pumps. Call 803-327-2700 or request service online to speak with one of our professionals today if you have any questions or are considering installing one of these heating and cooling systems.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal service.

What Is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth. It can be found almost anywhere, including South Carolina.

Geothermal heating capitalizes on the fact that temperatures in the Earth remain fairly constant when digging just a few feet below the surface. Whether you live somewhere where temperatures fluctuate or somewhere with a more constant temperature, the temperature below the surface stays relatively the same.

The upper part of the earth’s crust, roughly the first ten feet of ground, can maintain a temperature between about 50°F and 60°F. Geothermal heat pumps can use this energy to heat and cool buildings while using less energy than a typical heating and cooling system.

Geothermal heat pumps do not burn fossil fuels; instead they simply transfer heat from the earth to your home and back out. Because these pumps harness the earth’s available energy, they can save you anywhere from 30 to 70 percent on your bill over the next five to ten years.

Say it’s 5°F one night during the winter, and you have your thermostat set for a cozy 72°F in your home. It takes a lot less energy to reach your desired temperature if the starting point is 55°F using a geothermal heat pump.

How Does Geothermal Work?

Geothermal heating and cooling systems use a series of equipment and piping to transfer the earth’s energy to and from your house. A heat pump exchanger is the series of pipes called the “loop.” This loop of pipes is buried in the ground either vertically or horizontally, depending on the geography of the region. A fluid (usually water mixed with environmentally friendly antifreeze) is circulated through the pipes to absorb and dispel the heat from the ground. This heat is then extracted by the heat pump unit and delivered in or out of your living spaces using conventional ductwork air delivery systems.

Don’t Let The Name Fool You!

Geothermal heat pumps can heat and cool a building. They can even be equipped to provide hot water.

Will It Work In My Building?

Geothermal heat pumps are flexible and can be installed in new construction or retrofitted to work with existing systems.

Geothermal Is Environmentally Friendly!

Geothermal systems require very little maintenance and are environmentally conscious. These systems use the least amount of electricity, reduce air and water pollution, and produce the fewest emissions. They are safe for the environment as well as your home. They also provide the most stable comfort level, with more efficient humidity control and less noise.

Customer Reviews

Mike Skube Avatar
Mike Skube
8/31/2022 – Google

Bobby Foard has been our technician with Panther for the past several years. He has done or overseen many repairs and installation of our equipment. He is very experienced, keeps up with the latest innovations, and knowledgeable. He is always punctual and follows thru on all projects. He keeps us informed during the work and when done explains what he did and why and the next steps to possible follow-up. He is very caring and personable. On a scale of one to ten in all areas, Bobbie is definitely a 10!

Tonia Barnes Avatar
Tonia Barnes
8/19/2022 – Google

There are so many heating and cooling services to choose from and I am SO GRATEFUL I chose this company. They are knowledgeable, professional, honest, and just overall good people serving their community in the best way. Our technician, Terry, went above and beyond calling for parts, getting us warranties, coordinating with the manager to ensure we were getting the BEST deal and service possible and communicated with us from beginning to end. We had major leaks in our system that needed repair & our refridgerant literally ran out a day before parts could be installed and our home immediately started to climb to over 83 degrees. They arranged for us to take our 1 and 2 year old babies and stay at a nice local hotel for the night! They have truly been a blessing and we will continue to use them for our heating and cooling needs for years to come! And congratulations Terry, you will be an AWESOME father!!

Ashley Crane Avatar
Ashley Crane
8/16/2022 – Google

First time using Panther after our AC stopped working. Our tech Bryson was amazing. He came out immediately on a Sunday. Our issue was complicated, so he returned first thing Monday AM to contact our machine’s manufacturer to ensure the correct problem was dealt with and to see if our repair would be covered under warranty. Panther went above and beyond to drove out of town to collect the needed part, so the repair could be done same-day. We were so grateful for such fast service that we felt comfortable signing up for a service plan with Panther. Thanks for everything Panther and especially Bryson!

Matt M Avatar
Matt M
7/26/2022 – Google

We’ve been customers of Panther for years and continue to give them high recommendations. The Technician arrived as scheduled, was very polite and professional, and did impeccable work on systems. These are good Rock Hill people (our kids went to school together) and are now in the second generation of their family providing excellent service. Many thanks to Panther!

amyj623 Avatar
7/22/2022 – Google

We have used Panther Heating and Cooling many years. They replaced our upstairs and downstairs units in June 2022.

* Estimate was clear and easy to understand
* Scheduled installation quickly (the very next day!)
* Installers were extremely polite and very clean (it didn’t even look like they had even been there)
*Service calls and repairs are scheduled quickly and they are always on-time or early

Glen Read Avatar
Glen Read
6/28/2022 – Google

These guys provide the best service I’ve ever had from an HVAC company. Four years ago they installed my geothermal service at my house in amazing job their experts at it. Josh the owner stare in that direction and I’ve been so happy with the system and the service of his company!

Kris Hoback Avatar
Kris Hoback
6/28/2022 – Google

Terry was my technician and he came out to my new home (1949 flip remodel) to fix what was done incorrectly during the previous homeowner flip/install. He insured my unit outside and inside was working at its best capacity/efficiency. He had to do quite a few fixes. Freon was added since values were not fully open. Installed a p-trap to prevent chiller/unit from backing and leaking and tighten up any duct leaks. He explained all items very clearly and i was very pleased with the outcome.

Im new to Rock Hill and like to use local. I would GrEATLY recommend Panther Heating and Cooling and technician Terry. Very Satisfied.

Job well done.

JJ Jowers Avatar
JJ Jowers
6/03/2022 – Google

Great Company!
Got a tech out quickly after a “self repair” didn’t go well.
Tech arrived at the time I was told they would arrive.
Fixed my errors and got the house cooled down.

Seth Whisnant Avatar
Seth Whisnant
6/01/2022 – Google

Both the office staff and the technician were super friendly and professional. Panther was able to quickly diagnose the issue and had it repaired in next to no time at all. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for repair service or even seasonal maintenance.

Kim Liles Avatar
Kim Liles
5/23/2022 – Google

Brian arrived within 2 hours of reaching out to them. Quickly evaluated the problem and gave us honest options about what we could do to fix it. We went the less expensive route, but we know it’s a temporary fix and will need to be replaced eventually. Appreciated Brian’s feedback and will definitely use them in the future!! Highly recommend!

Need Geothermal Heat Pump Service?

Contact the experts at Panther Heating and Cooling.

Call us at (803) 327-2700