Building Techniques -
heat pumps are a relatively new
technology that can save homeowners
a substantial amount of money
in utility bills. This amazing
technology relies primarily on
the earth’s natural thermal
energy, a renewable resource,
to heat or cool a house. The
only additional energy geothermal
systems require is a small amount
of electricity to circulate the
high-quality heating and cooling
throughout the home.
application of geothermal heating/cooling,
also known as ground source heat
pumps, has been named “the
most energy-efficient and environmentally
sensitive of all space conditioning
systems” by the Environmental
Protection Agency and carries
the EPA’s Energy Star Label.
It is more than three times as
efficient as traditional fossil
ductwork is no different than
that of a conventional forced-air
system. The difference is found
in the temperature of the air
flowing from the registers
in the winter. With a conventional
air source heat pump, the air
flow is seldom warmer than
80 degrees. But because water
transfers a greater volume
of heat than air, the ground
source heat pump is able to deliver
warmer air—typically about
110 degrees F.
the summer, the process is reversed
in order to cool the home. Excess
heat is drawn from the home,
expelled to the loop, and absorbed
by the earth. Geothermal systems
provide cooling in the same way
that a refrigerator keeps its
contents cool—by drawing
heat from the interior, not by
injecting cold air.
are many advantages to having
a geothermal system. All components
of the unit are compact and
housed inside the home, reducing
wear and tear. They are highly
reliable, require little maintenance,
and are built to last for decades.
They are so quiet homeowners
even realize they’re on.
Additionally, geothermal systems
do not require a flue, and since
there is no on-site combustion,
there’s less chance of
fire, and no chance of carbon
monoxide infiltrating the home.
Because it meets the EPA’s
Energy Star requirements, homeowners
may find tax benefits, lower
mortgages, or utility rebates.
are a smart investment for consumers
who want a system that provides
a high level of comfort and low
monthly energy bills for as long
as they own their home.