Advantages and Disadvantages of Geothermal Heatpumps
Pros and Cons of Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is a method of using the pre-existing heat of the earth to heat a home, and it is also a
method of using the earth to cool a home too. A geothermal system relies on specialized equipment that includes a
closed loop of pipes buried vertically or horizontally into the ground, a heating pump, and even a desuperheater
that is capable of creating domestic hot water supplies.
To simplify things, it is useful to think of geothermal heat as a method totally different than any other type of
heating or cooling because it does not rely on any fossil fuels to generate heat or provide cooling. When it does
use electricity it is simply to operate the pump or fan that distributes the air throughout the home or living
What are the advantages of using a geothermal system? There are many, and they include:
Financial Savings – Not only does the owner of a GHP (geothermal heating pump) get to enjoy reduced costs on things
like home fuel oil, but they also reduce general operating costs by around 80%. This is because the systems demand
far less energy IN GENERAL thanks to their efficiency and their use of the earth instead of the air for the
creation of heat;
Environmentally Friendly – Clearly, it is a huge advantage to use a system of
renewable energy to heat and cool your home, and to also create domestic hot water supplies. Because there is no
need to burn up a fuel in order to create heat, a GHP system is going to be almost pollution free (with the
exception of the electrical supplies used to power the pump). This means that a homeowner using geothermal creates
very little pollution and consumes almost no fossil fuels or energy to operate the system;
Durability – The installation of a GHP system means the use of piping below the
ground, and qualified installers will fuse piping together with an approach that is stronger than the pipe itself.
This means that geothermal systems are incredibly strong, demand very little maintenance over their 25 to 50 year
life spans, and use so few mechanical components as to be one of the most user-friendly types of heating and
cooling available; and
Affordability – Though a geothermal system does require drilling for the
installation of the pipes, most of the systems have a complete “payback” (meaning the time when the system has
saved so much that it has paid for itself) of ten to fifteen years, which is unprecedented in the world of home
heating and cooling.
Disadvantages of Geothermal Heat Pumps
There are not many disadvantages to the use of a home GHP system, but they can include:
Limited Availability – There are not a lot of installers yet offering their services for home geothermal
installations and systems. This means that it can be difficult to get one for a home and just as difficult to get
service on it; and
Costly to Install – The drilling and special skills/knowledge necessary for an installation can make them quite
costly, though we already mentioned that most systems pay for themselves in a decade.
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