Geothermal heat pumps deliver exceptional energy efficiency by harnessing the steady temperature and energy from below the earth’s surface to heat and cool homes. By using free energy from the earth, geothermal systems can cut heating and cooling bills by up to 50 percent and provide practically free hot water. Moreover, geothermal heat pumps are designed to last at least twice as long as conventional air-source heat pumps. Keep reading to find out how a geothermal heat pump works to see if it is right for your Fairfax home.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
All heat pumps — air-source, ductless mini splits and geothermal — heat and cool a home by moving heat energy between the home and a source outside the home, such as air or the earth. The air-handling unit of geothermal heat pumps inside the home is essentially the same as conventional air-source systems. An evaporator coil releases heat energy in heat mode and absorbs heat energy in cool mode, while a fan sends the conditioned air through ductwork to the home.
The outdoor components are where geothermal heat pumps break ground. Trenches are dug in the yard to lay the piping, which carries a water/anti-freeze solution. The trenches may be about six feet deep in a horizontal loop, but a substantial amount of land is required. A vertical loop digs much deeper and uses much less land area. If a water source is available, such as a pond or well, piping may be placed in the water for an open loop system.
Geothermal systems cost more to install than conventional heat pumps, but the return on investment is impressive.
Is Geothermal Right for Your Home?
The ground or water around your home must be assessed for system installation type and quality of energy source. And, you should ask your HVAC contractor for a lifetime cost analysis of a geothermal heat pump and other systems you’re considering to find out the true cost and return.
To learn more about a geothermal heat pump, or for other questions about home comfort, please contact us at Brennan’s Heating & Air.