Low Energy Use
The biggest benefit of GHPs is that they use 25-50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems.
This translates into a GHP using one unit of electricity to move three units of heat from the earth. In housing
units that were all-electric in the pre-retrofit period, the GHPs were found to save about 42% of the pre-retrofit
electrical consumption for heating, cooling, and water heating.
Free or Reduced-Cost Hot Water
any other heating and cooling system, a geothermal heat pump can provide free hot water. A device
called a "desuperheater" transfers excess heat from the heat pump's compressor to the hot water
tank. In the summer, hot water is provided free; in the winter, water heating costs are cut roughly
lower heating bills, geothermal heat pumps are quieter than conventional systems and improve
humidity control. These features help explain why customer surveys regularly show high levels of
user satisfaction, usually well over 90 percent.
Geothermal heat pump systems allow for design flexibility and can be installed in both new and retrofit situations.
Because the hardware requires less space than that needed by conventional HVAC systems, the equipment rooms can be
greatly scaled down in size, freeing space for productive use.
In my previous home, my GHP was placed in my walk-in pantry. The entrance to the pantry
acted as my return air so I did not have an unattractive return air grill in my wall. I know that many
of you have seen, or may have in your home, a beautiful living room with a 2 foot by 2 foot metal grill in
the wall. A well planned GHP installation can eliminate this.
Architects and building owners
like the design flexibility offered by GHPs. Historic buildings like the Oklahoma State Capital and some
Williamsburg structures use GHPs because they are easy to use in retrofit situations and easy to conceal, as
they don't require cooling towers.
GHP systems eliminate conventional rooftop equipment, allowing for more aesthetically pleasing
architectural designs and roof lines. The lack of roof top penetrations also means less potential for leaks
and ongoing maintenance, and better roof warranties. In addition, the aboveground components of a GHP system
are inside the building, sheltering the equipment both from weather-related damage and potential
Low Environmental Impact
Because a GHP system is
so efficient, it uses a lot less energy to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This means that less
energy—often created from burning fossil fuels—is needed to operate a GHP. According to the EPA, geothermal
heat pumps can reduce energy consumption—and corresponding emissions—up to 44% compared to air-source heat
pumps and up to 72% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning
According to a study completed for
the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium (GHPC), buildings with GHP systems had average total maintenance costs
ranging from 6 to 11 cents per square foot, or about one-third that of conventional systems. Because the
workhorse part of the system—the piping—is underground or underwater, there is little maintenance required.
Occasional cleaning of the heat exchanger coils and regularly changing the air filters are about all the work
necessary to keep the system in good running order.
Zone Heating and Cooling
These systems provide
excellent "zone" space conditioning. With this, different areas of the building can be heated or cooled to
different temperatures simultaneously. For example, GHP systems can easily move heat from computer rooms
(which need constant cooling) to the perimeter walls for winter heating in commercial buildings. School
officials like the flexibility of heating or cooling just auditoriums or gymnasiums for special events—rather
than the entire school.
Because GHP systems have relatively few
moving parts, and because those parts are sheltered inside a building, they are durable and highly reliable.
The underground piping often carries warranties of 25 to 50 years, and the GHPs often last 20 years or
GHPs usually have no outdoor
compressors or cooling towers, so the potential for vandalism is eliminated.
To learn more about GHP's and how
they can drastically lower your home energy consumption visit http://www.philliprye.com.
Energy consultants Doug Rye and Phillip Rye show
you how lower you home energy usage GUARANTEED.