Homeowners today have many options to choose from when considering heating and cooling systems. One option is a geothermal heat pump (GHP), also known as geo-exchange. A GHP is an electrically powered refrigeration unit that works to transfer energy to and from the earth.
How a Geothermal System Works
A ground loop system is filled with a water solution that is used to absorb heat from the ground. The water is then carried into the home where a heat exchanger converts the thermal energy to air in a conventional ductwork system. In the summertime, the process is reversed and the heat is pumped from the home into the ground or redirected to heat water in order to cool the home.
The Benefits for Homeowners
A geothermal system generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional furnace. A three-ton residential GHP system produces about one pound less of carbon dioxide per hour compared to a conventional system. Over the course of 20 years, the installation of 100,000 units of residential geothermal systems can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the equivalent of removing 58,700 cars from the road.
A geothermal system provides extra safety. Because a geothermal heating system does not burn fossil fuels, there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
Geothermal heating is highly efficient. While a fossil fuel furnace may be 78-90 percent efficient, a geothermal heat pump is about 400 percent efficient. A geothermal heat pump can help homeowners save up to 65% on energy bills, compared to a traditional HVAC unit.
A geothermal heating system is a worthwhile long-term investment. Though installation costs are more expensive than traditional heating systems, the indoor components of a GHP can last about 25 years and the ground loops can last over 50 years. A geothermal system typically pays for itself in energy savings within 10 years.
Last but not least, GHP systems are made in the U.S. and help stimulate local economies by hiring contractors for installation. If you’re considering making the switch to a GHP system, reach out to the Roger The Plumber to learn more about what to expect.