Most people are surprised to learn that- no matter what the weather is like where you live- the temperature underground always remains between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts in heating and cooling systems have developed a way to tap into this natural phenomenon through Geothermal or Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Systems. The results are not only incredibly efficient, but environmentally friendly, too.
Geothermal/GSHP systems take advantage of nature’s underground temperatures by exchanging heat with the earth using an underground network of water (or refrigerant) filled pipes. In the winter, the liquid pulls heat from the ground and transfers it to the house through an exchanger. In the summer, the system draws heat from the home and deposits it back into the earth. It’s incredible technology that nearly any home can utilize, even those on smaller lots.
While a lot of people are just now hearing about GHP systems, the technology isn’t new. According to Jim Bose, executive director of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), “Many people think geothermal is a new technology, which makes builders and homeowners reluctant to use it.” “Actually,” he said, “it’s an idea that’s more than 150 years old.”
GHP systems have a number of advantages over traditional heating and cooling systems. Not the least of which, is cost effectiveness. Once the initial investment is made to install the system, geothermal heating and cooling is substantially less expensive than other systems. Here’s how it measures up in terms of cost per million BTUs (a BTU is the amount of heat put out by a candle):
Geothermal = $2.99 (@ $.05 per kW)
Air Source = $5.23 (@ $.05 per kW)
Electricity = $14.73 (@ $.05 per kW)
Natural Gas = $10.20 (@ $1.00 per Therm)
Propane = $13.92 (@ $1.90 per Gallon)
Fuel Oil = $40.15 (@ $4.50 per Gallon)
Geothermal is, hands down, the least expensive. There are other benefits as well including:
- Efficient and Eco Friendly– GHP systems transfer heat instead of creating it, so they don’t rely on fossil fuels.
- Durable- A GHP system is installed and protected underground. The pipes have an estimated lifespan of about 50 years.
- No Floor Space Needed- You don’t need a big heating/cooling unit or even a radiator to run a GHP system.
- Comfortable- Humidity isn’t an issue.
- Quiet- GHP systems do not utilize outside compressors, so there’s really no noise.
As you can see, the benefits for a GHP system are many. The downsides are few. The biggest barrier for most folks is the initial cost and the lack of knowledge about how a GHP system works.
If you’d like to get a free estimate for installing a GSHP system in your home, please contact Unique Indoor Comfort today. We will evaluate your heating and cooling loads, the type of soil you have, assess the amount of land you have vs. what is needed, and take a look at other underground utility and sprinkler systems, among a few other things. When you have the full information, you may decide- as so many others have- that investing in a GHP system will pay for itself in savings over a few years time. It will also increase the value of your home. And, it’s something you can feel good about.