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Heat Pumps & Geothermal, ground source, water source and air to air source.

Geothermal heat pumps ground source and water source

What are some of the most common questions on geothermal heat pumps?

What is it?

It is a system that moves heat from a place where it is not wanted to a place that is unobjectionable or it is a system that takes heat from one place and by means of refrigerant moves it to another place. It is just like putting water into an ice tray and placing it in your freezer. The heat contained in the water is removed. If you put your hand under or behind the refrigerator you will feel the heat taken from the water displaced to a coil outside your refrigerator.

A geothermal system does the same thing at a larger scale. When fluid at earth’s temperature passes through a heat exchanger in a geothermal system a few degrees of heat is removed by means of ozone friendly R-410a refrigerant system. That heat is amplified to around 140-180+ degrees. As the air in the duct system passes this coil, your home is heated. This system also works as an air conditioner. When a switch at the thermostat is moved from heat to cool the refrigeration process is reversed.

Why would somebody want one?

Geothermal heat pump systems are environmentally friendly and safe. A geothermal system is very economical. With the increasing cost of gas/propane it is conceivable that the savings over a few years could pay for a new geothermal system and the you still continue to benefit from the lower operational cost.

Do geothermal heat pumps work this far North?

The ideas that geothermal heat pumps don’t work this far North typically refers to air source heat pumps. If you are trying to displace heat from outside when it is 50 degrees into your home, air source heat pumps heat fine, but when the outdoor temperature drops to 30 degrees there is less heat and at zero degrees there is very little heat to transfer into your home……However, a geothermal system relies on the water at earth’s constant temperatures going into your geothermal system.

What maintenance is there?

Keep the air filters changed! A geothermal system with a closed loop system really should be serviced annually to change filters, observe diagnostic codes, confirm the loop circulation pumps are functional and assure the loop is still pressurized for the season. Open systems require annual maintenance to dissolve minerals coating the inside of the heat exchanger.

How expensive are they?

Savings on utility bills over 3 to 6 years usually cover the upgrade investment to a geothermal system. The ducting is typically the same as the conventional systems.

Are they noisy?

Most people say they have a similar sound level to gas furnaces. The compressor sound is similar to the sound of your refrigerator and is usually covered up by the sound of the blower.

How long do they last?

They average about 18 to 22 years with annual maintenance.

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