Geothermal Heat Pumps or GHPs can use 30-60% less energy than conventional HVAC systems, Geothermal systems are also quieter and require less maintenance. Geothermal Heat Pumps are not limited to heating, they can also be use for cooling and in some cases they can even be used as water heaters.
While we have been using Geothermal heat pumps since the late 1940s, according to the Climate Institute, “geothermal heating” has been used since the time of the Roman Empire as a way of heating buildings and spas by using sources of hot water and steam that exist near the Earth’s surface.
How Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Work?
While the temperature can vary widely from season to season, just a few feet below the earth’s surface the ground maintains a relatively constant temperature. This ground temperature can range from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C) depending on geographical location. A GHP uses this stable ground temperature to heat, cool, and when properly equipped, supply the house with hot water through a ground heat exchanger. Using the consistent temperature of ht earth as a heat exchange, instate of outside air with its variable conditions allows GHPS to reach fairly high efficiencies on the coldest nights.
Geothermal Systems vs. Air-Source Systems
While efficiencies vary by model, conditions and geographic location consider the following. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE):
- Geothermal Systems can reach 300%-600% efficiency “on the coldest of winter nights”
- Air-Source Systems can reach 175%-250% efficiency “on cool days”
The improvement in energy efficiency offered by GHPs can reduce energy costs by 30-50% in comparison to traditional HVAC systems.
In the United States, the DOE estimates about 40,000 geothermal heat pumps are installed each year. While this may seem like a large volume, it is only a drop in the bucket when your consider two-thirds of all homes in the United States are equipped with air conditioning.
Why Isn’t Everyone Using a Geothermal Heat Pump?
When compared to traditional HVAC systems, Geothermal Heat Pumps “can be several times that of an air-source system of the same heating and cooling capacity” states the DOE. How expensive are they? According to Michael Bluejay, “In 2006 a geo system cost about $2500 per ton of capacity to install. A 3-ton geo system at $7500 compares with $4000 for a traditional system, for a $3500 up-front premium for the geo system.
Thanks to the energy efficiency of Geothermal Heat Pumps, this expense is returned to you in savings in as a little of 5-10 years. With an expected system lifespan of 25 years for components, and 50+ years for the ground loop, a Geothermal Heat Pump can provide energy savings for many years. By reducing your electricity consumption you reduce your carbon footprint. Do your part to fight global warming, by using energy efficient technologies like GHPs to reduce your electricity usage. Top refrigerant recovery machine