As with our previous blog examining the strengths and weaknesses of air source devices, we now focus our attention on geothermal heat pumps. Differing in layout and design compared to air source alternatives, these systems feature pipework laid underneath the earth’s surface. Extracting heat that’s untouched, to a great extent, by changing climates and weather patterns, ground source heat pumps are a source of tough competition in the home heating market.
With a view to providing prospective buyers with a well-balanced look into the features of this system, the blog post below dives into the pros and cons of geothermal heat pumps.
Keep reading to find out!
Unparalleled climate adaptability
One of the biggest strengths geothermal heat pumps lay claim to is their superior climate adaptability.
Given that pipes are buried underneath the earth’s surface, the heat being extracted is unaffected by changing weather conditions. This renders these devices almost completely impervious to changes above the ground, as opposed to air source heat pumps.
They are, therefore, just as effective in the winter as they are in the summer. Homeowners who live in cooler climates, therefore, are best-equipped with these types of heat pumps.
Unlike conventional heating solutions or even air source devices, geothermal heat pumps enjoy an exceptionally high rating of energy efficiency.
While the best furnaces boast a maximum efficiency of 90%, ground source heat pumps provide an efficiency return of anywhere between 300-500%. For individuals that are interested in nothing less than the highest returns, therefore, these devices make a compelling choice to meet the heating, cooling, and hot water needs of a given property.
Improved energy savings
Another factor that draws buyers to geothermal heat pumps is the energy savings enjoyed.
Here, homeowners can anticipate between 30-60% savings on heating and between 25-50% savings on cooling. These are more than 50% greater than those produced by electricity-driven refrigerator air conditioners, 70-80% over LPG heaters, 30% more than natural gas heaters, and around 70% over traditional hot water heaters.
Given that electricity usage is minimal - restricted to the internal operation of the heat pump - buyers can expect their energy bills reduced significantly from the get-go.
Long lifespan and little maintenance
Similar to air source heat pumps, geothermal devices also boast a long life. With an expectancy of around 25 years for indoor components and 50 years for the underground loop system, these devices are a long-term investment.
Further, given that a majority of the system is buried underground and remains stationary, it requires little maintenance. This saves property owners a considerable deal of expenditure on regular maintenance and clean-ups.
Unsurprisingly, geothermal heat pumps are among the most expensive energy solutions on the market.
Owing to its complex and intricate system set-up and outdoor components, property owners can expect to pay an arm and a leg for these systems. On average, the initial cost for a 14kW direct exchange system is between $10,000-15,000.
What’s important to be remembered in this process, however, is that geothermal heat pumps make unbelievable returns on this investment throughout their lifetimes. This is enjoyed through increased energy savings, from day number one.
More suitable for properties under construction
Given the extensive installation process required by geothermal heat pumps, this process is better undertaken during the construction stage of a given property. If retrofitting is chosen, installation can prove to be more costly, involving large-scale excavation.
As demonstrated above, geothermal heat pumps are some of the market’s foremost heating and cooling solutions.
Despite its high startup cost and extensive installation process, these systems are among the most energy-efficient options for property owners looking for nothing less than the best. With heat pumps being a reliable choice for those wishing to maximise energy savings, the ground source variety is undeniably among the most effective.
Thus, for those looking for energy solutions that can repay purchase and installation costs beyond measure, geothermal heat pumps are the best bet.