Geothermal heat pump installation may seem like a new and even daunting process to the uninitiated, but in fact, it’s a tried and tested method of energy transference that’s been in use in America for a little more than a century and a half. The number of worldwide installations grows at an annual rate of around 10% which translates into about 80,000 new units being installed every year in America.
The serviceability of the system lies in its sheer efficiency: Rather than generating new heat through electrical resistance or by other means of energy transformation, like solar or wind power, the geothermal heat pump draws directly from the wellspring of thermal energy available just underneath the earth’s surface. Underground temperatures are more or less stable throughout the year, lending reliability and efficiency to the process.
In the long haul, you can expect to save up to 50% more in energy bills than any other form of heating and cooling system, and although the initial setup cost may seem somewhat sharp, you can usually recoup this money in energy savings within about 5 years.
But what does geothermal heat pump installation involve, and how exactly does it work?
Installing the Geothermal Heat Pump
There are several basic types of geothermal heat pump systems (horizontal, vertical, pond, and open-loop), but all rely on the same basic principle.
First, a network of piping is inserted underground. For small-scale residential application, a horizontal system is normally implemented: a trench no deeper than about 6 feet is excavated and two lines of heat-conductive piping are coiled inside the hole into closed loops. The result is two separate circuits of piping which pass through an electrically driven indoor compressor.
Usually, in larger applications such as school buildings or office complexes, a series of deeper, narrower excavations are drilled into the ground, which may vary in depth from 100 to 400 feet.
Other variations include pond systems, which operate in much the same way as these, or open loop systems which are deep excavations that make use of clean underground water to draw or exhaust thermal energy.
The indoor pump itself operates on much the same principle as a refrigerator, usually circulating a refrigerant through the piping to accomplish its purposes. Overall, geothermal heat pump installation for your home is a great way to stay warm or cool and save on energy and cost in the long run.
To find out more about installing a geothermal heat pump for your home, contact experienced geothermal contractor Bruni & Campisi today!