What is Geothermal?
Geothermal heat pumps can save homeowners money. These ground-source heat pumps use the relatively constant temperature of the ground or water deep below the earth's surface as source of energy to provide efficient heating and cooling. While conventional furnaces and boilers burn a fuel to generate heat, geothermal heat pumps use electricity to simply move heat from the earth into buildings, allowing much higher efficiencies. The most efficient fuel-burning heater can reach efficiencies around 95%, but some model geothermal heat pump can move up to 4 units of heat for every unit of electricity needed to power the system, resulting in a practical equivalence of over 400% efficiency.
Can Geothermal work in my home?
Geothermal heat pumps are appropriate for retrofit or new homes. They can be used for virtually any size home or lot in any region of the U.S. Ground loops can be installed in a vertical well or a horizontal loop. Vertical wells are usually more expensive and used where space is limited.
How does geothermal work?
A geothermal heat pump system consists of indoor heat pump equipment, a ground loop, and a flow center to connect the indoor and outdoor equipment. The heat pump equipment works like a reversible refrigerator by removing heat from one location and depositing it in another location. Geothermal heat pumps can be open- or closed-loop. Open-loop systems draw well water for use as the heat source, and after use, return the well water to a drainage field or another well. Closed-loop or earth-coupled systems use a water and antifreeze solution, circulated in a ground loop of pipe to extract heat from the earth.
What other considerations should I make?
Features can include variable speed blowers and multiple-speed compressors. These features can improve comfort and efficiency in areas where heating and cooling loads are quite different. Add-on features include the capability to produce hot water. Desuperheaters can be added to supplement the production of domestic hot water when there is a demand for space heating or cooling. These devices make use of excess heat during the cooling cycle and use some of the heat during the heating cycle to supplement your current hot water heater.
I would like to save with Geothermal but we already have a new furnace?
If you already have a new or existing gas, oil or electric source of heat that you do not wish to replace an “Add-on” or “Split system” Geothermal heat pump can be a great solution.