The Future of Home Heating: Geothermal Heat Pumps 101
Under your feet, below the surface a geothermal heat pump can be working wonders for your household or office space. And not just during the winter. Every season.
That’s because a geothermal heat pump—a green option for homeowners and business owners alike—can provide a richer, more efficient level of comfort for a fraction of the price.
About 10 feet down into the ground, below the frost line, the Earth maintains a nearly constant temperature of roughly 54 degrees Fahrenheit. A geothermal heat pump utilizes this consistency to your benefit, removing hot air during warmer months and supplying a boost of heat during the cooler months.
How it works:
For an effective geothermal heat pump system to operate, a special loop of piping is buried into the ground and filled with a water or water/antifreeze solution. This liquid solution captures heat from the ground and transports it to a heat exchanger unit, the actual “pump.”
The heat pump warms the air and the standard heating system warms the home, with air then being circulated through the air duct system.
During summer, the system works in reverse, transferring the hot air in the home through the exchanger and to the cooler ground.
Heat pumps don’t create heat so much as they act as a transfer mechanism, bringing in heat from a natural source and moving it where needed. For this reason, a centralized comfort system can operate on less power but at greater efficiency.
Undoubtedly, the thought of adding a new element to your home comfort system may seem like an unnecessary addition. However, you need to consider the overall savings over the course of the system’s lifespan. Thanks to the latest tech, new heat pump systems can last up to and over 15 years if properly maintained.
On the part of the homeowner, there is relatively little maintenance required. Keep all nearby shrubs and foliage trimmed back 2 feet and make sure to check the air filters monthly for maintenance. For expert maintenance, all it takes is a seasonal check-in from your Tonna technician to make sure your unit is ready to go.
Since it doesn’t require an open flame or fuel storage tanks, a geothermal heat pump also proves to be a safer option for the home. The lower amount of energy used creates less emissions than a conventional system.
Some may believe that they may not have the real estate necessary for a proper installation. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
If you don’t have an open space, you can go straight down and use a vertical heat exchanger. Office buildings can put their heat exchangers under parking lots or open lots. Because all areas have nearly constant ground temperatures, the constant temperature of the Earth becomes a sustainable resource that’s right below our feet.
If you’re still unsure if a heat pump is right for your family, check out Should You Get An Air-Source Heat Pump If You Live in Minnesota? Saving on heating is one thing. Saving on climate control year round? That’s a big idea everyone should consider!
- September 9, 2014
- By Patrick Murphy