Everything You Need to Know About Geothermal Heat Pumps

If you’re tired of paying exorbitant heating and cooling costs, you’d likely be interested in learning about alternatives to conventional HVAC systems.

One option you might consider: a geothermal heat pump. This system is significantly cheaper to operate, saving you as much as 60% on your heating and cooling bill. How? By relying on energy in the ground to control the temperature in your home. This makes the geothermal heat pump -- or ground-source heat pump -- incredibly efficient. Whether or not this system is right for you will depend on several factors. Read on to learn more.

How a Geothermal Heat Pump Works

Most heat pumps harvest heat from ambient air. Not the geothermal heat pump. It taps a much more reliable energy source.

It’s always 50° to 60° underground -- always. Even in the middle of a harsh Central Indiana winter, the temperature remains somewhere in the neighborhood of 50° just several feet below the surface. That’s because the ground absorbs heat from the sun. And the heat stays there. This makes the ground a more dependable energy source.

A conventional heat pump has to work hard to convert cold air into heat. But the geothermal heat pump has it easy by comparison; the temperature in the ground is close to our desired comfort level, so the heat pump doesn’t have to overcome a large temperature differential to heat your home during the winter. During the summer, it does the opposite, pulling hot air out of your home and running underground where it remains relatively cool -- again, between 50° to 60°.

Just like a conventional heat pump, a geothermal system consists of a compressor, heat exchanger and blower. Unlike a conventional heat pump, a geothermal system has a series of loops containing water or antifreeze that are buried several feet underground in either a horizontal or vertical configuration, depending on plot size. These loops transfer heat between the home and the ground.

Installation Process

Installation is more extensive -- and expensive -- than a conventional HVAC system. There is going to be a lot of drilling and digging to accommodate the closed-loop system.

The planning can take a couple of weeks and may also require a technical survey of the home and property. Once plans are finalized, our installation experts will work as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to your day-to-day routine.

Additional Benefits

Beyond energy savings, there are two more advantages of owning a geothermal heat pump:

It’s green: Geothermal heat pumps produce significantly fewer emissions than an air-source unit. If all residential heating and cooling systems were replaced with geothermal heat pumps, we’d cut more than 270 million metric tons of C02 for a 43% reduction nationwide, according to energy.gov. Collectively, we’d save $50 billion in energy.

It’s quiet: Enjoy near-silent operation. That’s because a geothermal heat pump doesn’t have an outdoor fan to disperse heat.

Is Geothermal Heating Right for You?

A geothermal heat pump is by far the most efficient way to heat or cool your home. However, it’s not for everyone.

Cost will certainly be a consideration as a geothermal heat pump is pricier than a conventional HVAC unit. You can also expect to pay more for the installation. Installing ground loops is a sizable undertaking and it won’t be cheap. Cost of the job will also be influenced by the size of the system, loop length, site accessibility and soil conditions, among other factors.

But if you’re determined to shrink your monthly energy bill and you like the idea of curbing your carbon footprint, accept no substitutes.

Bottom line: At Complete Comfort, we’re big believers in the comfort and savings offered by geothermal heating and cooling and have become experts in the installation, maintenance and repair of these super-efficient systems. To schedule a consultation, contact us at (317) 671-7552.