Ground temperatures range between 45°F and 75°F. Geothermal heat-pumps take advantage of this stable temperature to heat and cool buildings. Ground source geothermal can reduce household space conditioning energy consumption by 30-50%, significantly reducing your heating and air-conditioning costs.
There are three types of heat pumps used in residential applications: Ground Coupled, Groundwater and Surface Water. Additional classifications of systems include horizontal closed loop, vertical closed loop and open loop. The U.S. Department of Energy illustrates these different geothermal systems.
|A horizontal closed loop system is one type of geothermal heat pump. Source: EnergySavers.gov.|
Even though the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of an air-source system, the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5-10 years. System life is estimated at 25 years for the inside components and 50+ years for the ground loop.
Relative to air-source heat pumps, they are quieter, last longer, need little maintenance, and do not depend on the temperature of the outside air. There are no blasts of cold or hot air- instead, a geothermal system provides excellent "zone" space conditioning, allowing you to control the temperature of different zones within your home.
See our list of some local renewable energy providers for more information about geothermal options.