WHAT IS A GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM?
Geothermal heating and cooling systems for homes are ground-and-water-source heat pumps that basically move heat from one area to another. This is not to be confused with geothermal plants that tap into the earth’s energy to produce electricity.
Geothermal systems for the home use the constant temperature of the ground, at about 45 to 75 degrees, to heat and cool areas of a home. In the winter, the warmth from the ground is brought into a heat pump to warm a home, and in the summer the heat is removed from the house, much in the same way a refrigerator works.
WHAT IS A GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP AND WHAT CAN IT DO FOR ME?
A Geothermal Heat Pump or Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems. You can read our extensive FAQ about Ground Heat Source Pumps and Geothermal systems right here.
WE CAN HELP
Comfortmasters is a proud installer of Florida Heat Pump and Bosch systems, and can recommend and help design a system to meet your specific needs. Contact us today or learn more about Geothermal Heat Pumps on the FAQs section of page to find out more about the energy-saving geothermal systems available to you today. Get the best heating and air conditioning service in Jacksonville – we’re here to help!
GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How efficient is a Ground Heat Pump System?
- The Ground Heat Pump System (or Geothermal System) is one of the most efficient residential heating and cooling systems available today, with heating efficiencies 50% to 70% higher than other heating systems and cooling efficiencies 20% to 40% higher than available air conditioners. That directly translates into savings for you on your utility bills.
- Can one system provide both space heating and cooling for my home? And what about heating hot water?
- Yes. A Ground Heat Pump System can be a combination heating/cooling and a hot water heating system. You can change from one mode to another with a simple flick on your indoor thermostat. Using a desuperheater, some Ground Heat Pump Systems can save you up to 50% on your water-heating bill by preheating tank water.
- How does a Ground Heat Pump System heat water for my home?
- Using what is called a desuperheater, Ground Heat Pump Systems turn waste heat to the task of heating hot water. During the summer, when the system is in cooling mode, your hot water is produced free as a byproduct of the thermal process. In winter, with the heating mode, the desuperheater heats a portion of your hot water. Desuperheaters are standard on some units, optional on others. Stand-alone systems that will heat water all year around can be purchased.
- How much space does a Ground Heat Pump System unit require?
- Most of a Ground Heat Pump System installation is underground. Inside the house, the heat pump units are about the same size as a traditional heating and cooling unit.
- How long will my Ground Heat Pump System last?
- Ground Heat Pump Systems are durable and highly reliable. The Ground Heat Pump System contains fewer mechanical components, and all components are either buried in the ground or located inside the home, which protects them from outside conditions. The underground pipe carries up to a 50-year warranty.
- How noisy is the Ground Heat Pump System unit?
- Ground Heat Pump Systems are very quiet, providing a pleasant environment inside & outside of the home. Ground Heat Pump Systems have no noisy fan units to disturb outdoor activities, on or near the patio.
- How safe are Ground Heat Pump Systems?
- Ground Heat Pump System systems are safe and protected. With no exposed equipment outdoors, children or pets cannot injure themselves or damage exterior units. Ground Heat Pump Systems have no open flame, flammable fuel or potentially dangerous fuel storage tanks.
- What about comfort?
- A Ground Heat Pump System moves warm air (90-105(F) throughout your home or business via standard ductwork. An even comfort level is created because the warm air is moved in slightly higher volumes and saturates the building with warmth more evenly. This helps even out hot or colds spots and eliminates the cold air blasts common with fossil fuel furnaces.
- How effective is this underground system?
- The buried pipe, or ground loop, is the most recent technical advancement in heat pump technology. Recently, new heat pump designs and improved buried pipe materials have been combined to make Ground Heat Pump System systems the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.
- Are Ground Heat Pump System guaranteed?
- Nearly all Ground Heat Pump System manufacturers offer a warranty for major components that is equivalent to the warranties for conventional heating and cooling systems. Manufacturers of plastic pipe used for ground loops warrant their products for 50 years.
GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM SAVINGS & COSTS
- How will I save money with a Ground Heat Pump System?
- Ground Heat Pump Systems save money, both in operating costs and maintenance costs. Investments can be recouped in as little as three years. There is a positive cash flow, since the energy savings usually exceeds payment on the system.
- How much does a Ground Heat Pump System cost?
- The initial investment for a Ground Heat Pump System is greater than that of a conventional system. However, when you consider the operating costs of a geothermal heating, cooling, and water heating system, energy savings quickly offset the initial difference in purchase price.
- What other costs are there besides the Ground Heat Pump System itself?
- You can expect an installation charge for any electrical work, ductwork, water hook-up, and other provisions or adaptations to your home that are required. Comfortmasters can help estimate these costs in advance.
- Does Florida offer any incentives for installing a Ground Heat Pump System?
- Some utilities offer rebates or incentives to their customers who purchase Ground Heat Pump Systems.
GEOTHERMAL ENVIRONMENTAL & CLIMATE BENEFITS
- How do Ground Heat Pump Systems protect the environment?
- Ground Heat Pump System conserve natural resources by providing climate control very efficiently and therefore also lower emissions. Ground Heat Pump Systems also minimize ozone layer destruction by using factory-sealed refrigeration systems. These will seldom or never have to be recharged.
CONCERNING YOUR HOME
- Will my existing ductwork function with this system?
- Yes, in most cases. Comfortmasters will determine ductwork requirements and if any minor modifications are needed.
- Will an underground loop affect my lawn or landscape?
- No. Research has shown that loops have no adverse effects on grass, trees, or shrubs. Most horizontal installations require trenches about six inches wide. Temporary bare areas can be restored with grass seed or sod. Vertical loops require little space and do not damage lawns significantly.
- My yard contains many shade trees. Will this affect ground temperature and my ability to use it as an energy source?
- Not at all. The system is installed deep enough that it utilizes constant ground temperature.
- Will I have to add insulation to my home if I install one of these systems?
- Ground source heat pump systems will reduce your heating and cooling costs regardless of how well your home is insulated. However, insulating and weatherizing are key factors in gaining the maximum amount of savings from any type of heating and cooling system