Heat Pumps

Using electricity to move heat from beneath into your home and back again in an infinite cycle, ground source heat pumps are among the most energy-efficient systems available for heating and cooling your home.

Heat pumps offer homeowners an alternative to fossil fuel systems by not emitting carbon dioxide emissions and operating efficiently by choosing to generate electricity at times with lower production costs, thus cutting household energy bills.

Curious about ground-source heat pumps? Find out more about them at Diamondback Plumbing and Cooling.

What is a ground source heat pump?

Ground source heat pumps, known as geothermal heat pumps (GSHPs) or geo-exchange systems, are one of today’s most efficient and money-saving heating systems.

Ideal for buildings that feature high thermal efficiency and superior insulation performance as they require much smaller systems than their conventional alternatives, GSHPs offer great savings both financially and ecologically.

GSHPs use renewable BTUs from the earth’s surface temperature, which remains between 8-12degC throughout the year, unlike air temperatures, which fluctuate considerably with seasonal changes.

Heat pumps use a “ground loop” system consisting of underground pipes connected by thermal transfer fluid – typically water with antifreeze – flowing around them. Once connected to a heat pump in your house or commercial property, they extract thermal energy from the earth and transfer it either into your central heating system or hot water cylinder for use in bathrooms and kitchens.

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Though initial costs and disruption associated with installing a ground source heat pump (GSHP) may be high, their savings more than makeup for their upfront investment and disruption.

How does a ground source heat pump work?

GSHP systems combine renewable heating with advanced insulation technology, creating an economical alternative to traditional heating systems. They have lower life cycle costs and greater reliability than most HVAC systems.

GSHPs are ideal for new construction and renovation of high-rises, apartments, schools, government buildings, or any commercial property that requires efficient heating/cooling solutions at cost-effective prices.

GSHPs use an underground pipe loop containing a mixture of antifreeze and water as thermal transfer fluid (also called brine) to extract energy from the ground. As it circulates its loop, it absorbs heat from its constant temperature of 7-12degC – far higher than air temperatures at the surface, even during freezing winter.

Once the heat has been captured, it is distributed directly into your heating and cooling system at home, offering quality heating with much lower carbon emissions than conventional systems.

Geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems are essential in decreasing the need for new power plants. By helping reduce load peak levels in summer and electrical consumption during cooler months.

GSHPs help ease the stress on national electricity grids while at the same time helping lower greenhouse gas emissions when powered with renewable sources such as hydroelectricity or renewable solar.

Benefits of using a ground source heat pump

Ground source heat pumps use non-combustible fuels and do not emit any harmful by-products during operation. They are also more energy-efficient than other systems requiring chimneys or open fireplaces.

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Their lower energy usage translates to up to 50% savings on heating bills versus other systems, and their maintenance costs are low while being secure from environmental hazards such as vandalism and accidental lawnmower damage. Furthermore, smart controls allow your system to run when grid demand, price, and carbon emissions are at their lowest.

As underground temperatures remain more constant than air-source systems, ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) are more effective during extreme weather than air-source ones – making them suitable for any climate. They can be laid in trenches or vertical boreholes; systems with wet loops may even be useful in areas with abundant water supply.

Since ground-source heat pumps don’t rely on burning any fuel, they aren’t subject to rising oil prices or supply disruptions and don’t pose a carbon monoxide leak risk.

Installation options range from new and old buildings, homes and commercial properties of any size, residential as well as cooling needs, with many financial incentives such as state/local government programs, power companies offering energy-efficient mortgage loans, and banks offering energy-efficient mortgages to help cover their cost.

Costs of using a ground source heat pump

Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs for short) harness energy from the earth to provide heating and hot water services, typically through radiators, underfloor heating, or domestic hot water cylinders for taps and showers. In summer, they can even be reversed for cooling purposes!

Like other heat pump systems, ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are generally more energy-efficient than their fossil-fueled counterparts, as measured by COP – typically, well-designed GSHPs will deliver three times more heating to buildings than they require in electrical energy to run them.

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This system is highly reliable and requires little to no maintenance due to its being underground; underground piping also comes with a 25-year or longer warranty and may qualify for special financing and incentives to help lower its cost.

A GSHP can be installed anywhere there is access to outdoor space and suitable geology, from being buried underground (closed loop) or less frequently installed directly in a lake or ocean (marine source heat pump) (although this option requires extensive new garden space for installation).

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