Geothermal Heat Pumps, or Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) are Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems which take advantage of the natural insulation properties of soil. Due to the fact that they are built mainly underground they have a relatively high installation price compared to other HVAC systems but, due to their high efficiency, save massive amounts of money on heating, ventilation and air conditioning costs each year.
Geothermal Heat pumps rely on the same principles as that of a normal HVAC system, a principle in Physics known as phase conversion. Phase conversion means that as a liquid is converted into a gas, it absorbs heat energy from its surroundings. The heat energy that Geothermal Heat Pumps draw on for this purpose is the heat energy stored deep within the soil, which is kept at an average temperature throughout the year, regardless of the seasons. This heat energy is energy absorbed by the soil from Solar energy, not from the core of the Earth.
This heat taken from the soil is passed from the Heat Pump to the surface, to the building the GSHP is installed in. Due to this, in the Winter, the heat from the soil is used to warm your home. However, the system also works in the other direction when reversed, meaning the heat from your home can be extracted and brought down to the earth, providing a cooling effect in the Summer.
Due to these points, GSHPs are extremely efficient, among the most efficient in the world today. What this means for you is that this system costs very little to run, as very little energy is required operate it. On average, depending on the size of the system, the initial installation costs are made back within the first three to ten years after installation and most parts within this system, which can be expensive to replace or repair have a lifetime between 25 to 50 years.
The other great factor to consider when regarding GSHPs is that they are very Eco-friendly and do not rely on any fossil fuel generated electricity, as they are usually coupled with a Solar-powered system to operate the pump. This all means savings for the owner, as electricity and heating bills are effectively eliminated for heating, ventilating and air conditioning your home.
Field studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that, when operated on a commercial scale, GSHPs were shown to save 75% of electricity that would have been required from a conventional HVAC system and avoided the emmision of 7,100 pounds of CO2 and 15 pounds of Nox each year, per ton of compressor capacity (on average, each system has an approximate 6 ton compressor capacity).
So, not only are GSHPs an efficient, cheap to operate and long lasting technology, they are also Eco-friendly and could potentially save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. These are all fantastic reasons why and how a geothermal Heat Pump could work for you and save you money in the long-run.
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