Furnaces and heat pumps are common heating systems used for residential heating in Cumming. Geothermal heat pumps are becoming a more popular option for heating because they utilize the underground temperature of the earth and transfer the heat to your home. This is significantly different from a typical heating system that requires the burning of fuel to create heat. Here’s what you need to know about how this unique heating system works.
How It Works
The temperature of the ground below your home remains constant. This temperature varies depending on what area you live in, but in general, the temperature is around 50 degrees. Since this temperature remains constant, a geothermal pump can work in any climate. Rather than burning fuel, like other heating systems, this heat pump uses loops of underground pipes that are filled with water or coolant. The loops gather heat from the ground, and the pump that the pipes are hooked to transfers the heat to the home.
Types of Systems
Although the overall mechanics of the systems are similar, there are different types of systems based on the location of homes as well as how much property is available for installing the underground pipes. A common residential option is the horizontal installation method. The pipes are installed either in straight runs or layered coils. This requires about 400 feet of space in order to dig trenches that are 6 feet deep and 2 feet wide. A vertical system is used when space is limited. Holes are drilled about 15 feet apart and 100-400 feet deep. The pipes run vertically and are connected at the bottom by two pipes. A less common system can be installed near a body of water, such as a pond, and uses heat from the water rather than soil. It’s the least expensive option, but requires a nearby body of water.
Heating and Cooling
One unique thing about a geothermal heat pump is that it’s used for both heating and cooling needs. When the heating system is in use, the liquid in the loops pulls heat from the ground and forced air distributes it. During the summer, the same system is used, but in reverse. The pump takes the heat from your home and transfers it to the ground.
Energy efficiency is perhaps the biggest draw for a geothermal heat pump since the installation costs can be high. The operating costs are far lower than other heating systems because they don’t burn any fuel at all. This can automatically save between 30-65 percent on heating and cooling costs. Eliminating the need to burn fossil fuels also means that the environment benefits. There are no greenhouse gas emissions beyond what power the pump uses to run.
Another benefit of geothermal heat pumps is that they last a long time. The indoor pump typically lasts at least 10 years longer than conventional furnaces or AC units, or around 25 years. The underground components have very few moving parts and are well protected from the elements, so they often last more than 50 years. In addition to lasting a long time, there’s very little maintenance required. Geothermal systems can easily be installed in new construction, but they can also be used in retrofits. Additionally, the indoor unit is very quiet, which makes the entire system much quieter because there isn’t a loud fan or compressor component.
If you’re interested in learning if a geothermal heat pump is right for you, contact Cool Air Mechanical by calling 770-266-5247 today.