Geothermal or heat pump?

I understand geothermal units are, in a way, a form of heat pump. The units I inspected today are listed as geothermal, but I consider them hot water heat.

The loop is only between the water heater and furnaces. There is no ground loop. My theory is the units are using hot water from the gas fired water heater instead of air exchange.

There was a note on the water heater that said not to open the loop valve because there was a pipe leak in the attic.

All the units operated at the inspection, and seemed to be working.

I’m wondering if I should describe the heating systems as a heat pump, rather than geothermal, since the loop is not underground?

Sounds like they are neither heat pump nor geothermal , any pics?

Interesting. I don’t know…lo

Are you sure about no geothermal? You may be correct.

I had a geothermal heat pump that was open looped in that it took water from the well and removed the heat from it and dumped it in a dry well that I made. However, the backup (emergency) heat was, as you describe, from a high volume/high recovery water heater.

Geothermal units do well keeping the temperature within a few degrees very inexpensively but they don’t seem to bring the temp up very fast from say 55 to 70. That’s where my system water heater came into work.

Aside from that, I don’t know what to tell you to call it. :slight_smile:

Yes that is what I have seen too Larry. We are just starting to get a handle on Geothermal here.

The pics I have are not very clear about the configuration. One is in the attic, and two are in the crawl space. This is a townhouse built in 1997, and there’s not enough property to run 100 feet of line underground, and I don’t think there’s a well, or a vertical loop. There are definitely water lines running to and from the water heater to the furnace, but not to the outside compressors.

The client is having an HVAC company coming on Thursday. I may try to attend their evaluation to learn something, but I have an inspection that afternoon.

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It looks like a air handler with a coil inside where hot water from the water heater flows through.

Do you have a pic of the outside units? Most likely for AC.

Was there a condenser out side.
It looks like a hot water heating system . which would not be a geothermal system
Look at the label (Hydro therm)

Without more info I would call it a HP with hot water backup Mike you always need to look at the outside unit if there is one and look for a reversing valve. If you don’t know what one looks like Google it and get a pic.

A geo thermal is just like any other system with one major change which is the cooling medium for its condenser where it comes from and what it is. The cooling medium can be a ground loop, a well, a water pond. Remove the outdoor condenser fan and add a another type of cooling medium and you have a geo thermal HP.

The outside units have no water lines going to them. They just appear to be regular heat pump units.

Charly, all three have reversing valves.

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Hydro-Therm is something I find quite often in Condo Units.
It is circulating hot water heat thru a coil with an AC unit for summer months.

Not a Heat Pump or a Geo-Thermal unit.

I referred to them as heat pumps because they had reversing valves, and each thermostat had “emergency heat” setting.

Sometimes the thermostat could just be wrong, so relying on “emergency heat” setting at the thermostat could be misleading, but if not a heat pump, then why the reversing valves?

Like Charley said, look for a reversing valve which will indicate that its a air to air heat pump (not geothermal) with hot water backup.

it is a heat pump , with hot water heating Micheal , the thermostat was correct, water is used instead of a electric coil that’s all

Ya got it correct there will be two coils at theAHU one for the heat pump and one for the hot water. Hot water is the aux as mentioned by others. Yes it is a heat pump with just a different aux no big deal;-)

Well shucks thank you , lol I did stay at a Holiday Inn . must of paid off :wink:

Don’t count if ya only stayed 1 hour :p:D:mrgreen:

Thanks a bunch, guys! That’s the way I explained it to my client, but told him I wasn’t 100% sure, and told him I’d ask you guys.

Great help, as usual!

LOLOLOL well you left