The geothermal heat pump is an energy efficient means to extract ground temperatures and covert them into heating in the winter or may be used as a heat sink in the summer to draw the warmer temperatures away from a home. Heat sinks absorb thermal energy from point A to point B by removing the heat source from A and transferring it to another area, thus bringing down the temperature from point A and depositing it at point B.
Geothermal heat pumps may also be known as geoexchange or Earth energy, and can rack up the savings on an energy bill. Tough and durable, the geothermal heating and cooling units are expected to last at 25 years for indoor usage, with a projected life of 50 years for the outdoor ground loops.
Geothermic energy is no stranger to mankind, as the concept of extracting thermal heat can be traced back to the early era of civilization. Partial underground heating comes from the Earth’s molten core, pushing upward towards the surface, and some of the in-ground heat is captured in the opposite direction by the sun’s radiation that can penetrate just below the ground line. At a certain level, the underground areas will retain their heat and are a prime resource for eco-friendly heating.
Beyond the cost efficient supply of energy for residential use, the geothermal concept is widely used for community benefit in places like Iceland, where government geothermal construction is used to melt to the snow. In addition, Klammath Falls Oregon and Boise, Idaho have put their geothermic technologies to good use with grand scale systems to heat entire buildings and certain sections of towns.
The geothermal heat pump industry has enjoyed a steady financial growth in a world where people make responsible and thought provoking eco friendly choices in life. When selecting your geothermal heat pump, be sure to look for the Energy Star logo, or if your manufacturer does not use the symbol, you may be ensured a high-efficiency unit with a 13 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or a 2.8 coefficient of performance, (COP).
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cost efficient heating systems are rising in demand, with more than 50,000 geothermal heating pumps installed across the nation every year. Consumer awareness and competitive manufacturing have enjoyed a steady climb to educate the public on the benefits of geothermal heating pumps and bring the cost down to meet most budgets.
A geothermal heating unit does cost a bit more than a traditional system, but in most cases, the long-term benefits outweigh the up-front expense. Depending on the size, efficiency and cost of the geothermal heating unit you intend to purchase, most satisfied customers report a break even point on the purchase price as early as the first three to five years of operation. So if you are in a property and plan to stay a while, the geothermal heating solution can save you big bucks on your energy bills for a considerable amount of time and make a positive step in the right direction for green living.