If you’re looking for a cooling and heating system that combines dependability, durability and energy efficiency, consider a geothermal heat pump (GHP). These HVAC appliances simply move heat from one place to another and offer the highest available energy efficiency for homes. In the case of GHPs, the appliances use heat from underground sources to condition your home.
The EPA estimates that a geothermal heat pump uses between 25 and 50 percent less electricity than a conventional HVAC system. Along with their exceptional efficiency, these heat pumps outlast other types. A conventional system may last as long as 15 years, but the geothermal system’s underground loop field can reach 50 years and the indoor air handler 25 years.
Temperatures underground are far more stable than atmospheric temperatures, which can have a 10- to 30-degree difference during a 24-hour period. Underground, it’s rare to see much fluctuation. In the summer, the GHP removes the heat from your home and places it underground. In the winter, the cycle reverses and it extracts the stored heat, using it to heat your home.
The earth absorbs the heat from the sun on a continual basis and when you use geothermal resources, you’re essentially plugging into stored solar energy. Besides using the free and renewable resources underground, this type of system also reduces the demand for natural resources since it doesn’t use an outdoor condenser. Not having a condenser sitting in the backyard also eliminates noise pollution.
Although GHPs cost more than other types of HVAC systems, a federal tax credit program is in place that lets homeowners deduct up to 30 percent of the total cost of these systems, including the equipment purchase, labor, and cost of installation. This credit is available through 2016. You may also qualify for local and state tax credit or incentives to lower the initial investment of your system.