The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified geothermal heat pumps as a technology that significantly reduces greenhouse gas and other air emissions associated with heating, cooling and water heating residential buildings, while saving consumers money, compared to conventional technologies.
For every 100,000 units of typically sized residential geothermal heat pumps installed, more than 37.5 trillion BTU’s of energy used for space conditioning and water heating can be saved. This corresponds to an emissions reduction of about 2.18 million metric tons of carbon equivalents and a cost savings to consumers of about $750 million over the 20-year-life of the equipment.
WHAT IS GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING?
Geothermal heating and cooling relies on an energy exchange between ambient air and the ground. The earth absorbs nearly half of all solar energy, producing more than 500 times the energy mankind needs in a year. As a result, the Earth remains at a consistent 50 F. A geothermal unit utilizes the natural heat storage ability of the Earth and a year-round constant temperature to facilitate an energy efficient exchange of heat between the home and ground
Geothermal heating technology dates as far back to the 1930’s and has evolved to a wide variety of applications. The technology first became popular in Sweden as a result of the 1973 oil crisis and has been growing in worldwide acceptance since. Each year more than 80,000 units are installed in the United States.
- Increased cost efficiency once installed
- Increased energy efficiency - Geothermal HVAC systems save energy on a yearly basis from 40-70%
- Geothermal HVAC systems are more durable compared to traditional air conditioning systems which remain efficient for almost 8 years, where as geothermal systems remain effective for about 50 years. They also require minimal maintenance.
Visit “Conserve-Energy-Future” for more advantages of a Geothermal HVAC System.
- High initial installation cost
- Surface instability and sustainability issues with larger scale projects – not a problem for residential projects
Visit “Planet Save” for more disadvantages of a Geothermal Heating and Cooling System.
WHAT IS A GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP?
Geothermal systems force the transfer of heat which is different from traditional heating systems that are engineered to create heat. Geothermal heat pumps or ground source heat pumps (GSHP) are central heating and cooling systems that harness the natural heat of the earth or earth’s groundwater, relocating heat to or from the home, to provide heating, cooling, and hot water at remarkably high efficiencies. In contrast to fossil fuel systems, geothermal heat pumps emit no combustion byproduct and have the lowest Co2 emissions of any space heating unit. The heat pump device is a single indoor unit that can provide domestic or in-floor radiant hot water in addition to space heating and cooling.
HOW DO GEOTHERMAL HVAC SYSTEMS OPERATE?
Geothermal HVAC systems use the combination of a sealed underground loop filled with circulating water and a heat pump unit to exchange heat between your home and the earth. Geothermal heat pumps, much like air source heat pumps, utilize the refrigeration cycle and compressor to relocate heat. The energy efficient distinction is where the source of heat transfer occurs. Air source heat pumps rely on a medium of inconsistent outdoor temperatures (in the Northeast can range from 5F to 95F) where a geothermal unit is engineered to exchange heat with the ground loop that has a year-round consistent temperature.
While geothermal installations can be costly, once the system is installed, homeowners see a 40-60 percent reduction in their annual energy/utility bill on average. In fact, a geothermal HVAC system typically pays for itself in two to ten years.
For geothermal HVAC installation, repair and service, contact Unique Indoor Comfort. To learn more about the specific costs of the different aspects of Geothermal Heating and Cooling, visit Home Advisor.