1. Low Energy Use
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.
2. Free or Reduced-Cost Hot
Unlike 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 in half.
3. Year-Round Comfort
producing 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.
4. Design Features
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
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.
5. Improved Aesthetics
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 vandalism.
6. Low Environmental
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
7. Low Maintenance
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.
8. Zone Heating and Cooling
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 more.
10. Reduced Vandalism
have no outdoor compressors or cooling towers, so the potential for vandalism is
To learn more about GHP's and how
they can drastically lower your home
energy consumption visit
Energy consultants Doug Rye and
Phillip Rye show you how lower
you home energy usage GUARANTEED.
Are you building a home and looking for a custom, energy efficient home? Visit my home
design site at www.rye-homes.com for more
Heat Pump Systems How does a geothermal heat pump