As energy costs rise and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions grow, many homeowners are looking for more energy efficient and green solutions to heat and cool their homes. One of these solutions are geothermal heat pumps, which get their heat not from burning fuel nor from the sun or wind, but rather from underground.
Geothermal Heat Pumps: How do they work?
Geothermal heat pumps work by taking heat energy from the ground and transferring it into the home. While temperatures above ground can fluctuate greatly over the course of the four seasons, temperatures below the ground are relatively unchanging. Depending on the climate, ground temperature can vary from 45-75 degrees Fahrenheit, but lets take a ground temperature of 50 degrees as an example.
If the air temperature in the winter is 30 degrees, the ground temperature is already 20 degrees warmer. Therefore, a geothermal heat pump is already working at a base temperature of 50 degrees while a furnace, for example, is working at a base of 30 degrees. The heat pump only needs to extract 20 degrees of heat from the ground to reach a 70 degree indoor temperature while a furnace has to create 40 degrees of heat to reach the same temperature. This means that heat pumps have to do less work overall, and they’re also more efficient in doing so. According to energy.gov, geothermal heat pumps use 25 to 50 percent less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems. Read more about geothermal heat pumps here.
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