You may have heard of HVAC systems that operate on sustainable energy, but they are not what exactly what they
appear to be. The heat pump ground source involved in this technology does not actually involve converting
sunlight into energy. It involves storing heat by way of a complex underground system. The heat comes
from sunlight and then settles on the earth. The constant temperature of the earth is the actual exchange
medium. The outside air temperature has nothing to do with it, and hence you see why it is already a great
improvement over fossil fuel technology, which continually burns fuel and pollutes the air.
Why the Heat Pump Ground Source is Efficient?
The efficiency level of this heat pump ground source installation is well over three
times as efficient as a standard HVAC unit. The ground temperature is always warmer than
the air around it, and so you have a highly sustainable system of heat exchange. The
device that performs the heat exchange (and dissipates the stored heat for cooler temperatures
in the summer through a heat sink) is the most expensive part of the setup. However, you
still have to budget in expenses for piping underground as well as ducts throughout the
Just as with traditional systems, the heat pump ground source can be powered by two speed
compressors and variable fans for even greater efficiency and coverage. In addition to
green benefits and savings, the advantages of ground supported pump systems lie in their quiet
operation, low maintenance and long-term reliability.
Another option is to find a system that has a dual-source heat pump. This typically means
that you get more energy/heat from a second source, such as water energy. Unfortunately, while these systems
do have superior efficiency than HVAC units, they are not considered as efficient as geothermal technology.
Still, they do work well and are less expensive to install.
Heat Pump Ground Source Options
The heat pump ground source unit is an investment since you must buy the parts, the piping and
ducts, as well as the labour. This can add up to be a considerable cost, though you will see the savings in
approximately five years. Is this opportunity worth it? Consider this—these underground systems
(provided you work with a quality provider) can actually last much longer than this time frame. The parts can
last 25 years while the ground loop setup can easily last 50 years!
The ground source heat pump unit you choose can have horizontal, vertical or lake-style
loops. The type of loop you deem appropriate will largely be determined by your available land. The
contractor has to consider soil and rock type around the premises. There is also the closed loop heat pump
ground source to consider. This involves water circulating through the pipes, and collecting heat during the
winter. (Or, reversing the process in the summer and pulling heat from the building and placing it in the
ground) This process actually creates free hot water for you, which is another advantage to consider.
by Phillip Rye -