Heat pumps are becoming more popular as methods for providing heat to homes. However, a heat pump is a two-in-one appliance that works as both a cooling and heating system. Essentially, it’s an air conditioner that can reverse the direction it moves heat. A standard AC draws heat from inside a house and exhausts it outside. A heat pump can cause the opposite to happen: heat drawn from outside and exhausted inside.
If you’re immediately thinking, “How can the heat pump draw heat from the cold air of the winter,” then you’re already on the path toward finding out the advantages of using a geothermal system for your winter warmth. A geothermal system has an easier time delivering winter heat.
Geothermal Systems Are Kinds of Heat Pumps
Geothermal heating and cooling is done through a type of heat pump. But where the conventional heat pump uses the outside air as its medium for heat exchange (an air-source heat pump), a geothermal system uses the heat in the ground as its medium (a ground-source heat pump).
Why does this make a difference in how much easier the heat pump’s job is? Because the temperature of the earth six to ten feet below the frost line remains steady compared to the temperature above ground. No matter how cold or hot the weather may get, the ground stays around 55°F. This is more than enough warmth to allow the ground loops of the heat pump to draw sufficient thermal energy to keep a house warm and the heat pump energy efficient.
But Isn’t a Geothermal System More Expensive?
Yes, the upfront installation cost for a geothermal heat pump is higher than for a standard air-source model. In some cases, an air-source heat pump is a better fit for a household’s budget. The property may also not have enough room for ground loops.
However, keep in mind that ground-source heat pumps save money over time so they will eventually payback their installation costs—and they have extremely long lifespans. Speak to our geothermal professionals to find out more about the costs and benefits of a ground-source heat pump for your house.
Comfort Flow Heating serves Eugene, OR. Quality Service & Install Since 1961.