Geothermal Heat Pumps: How They Cool
Geothermal heat pumps are a two-in-one system that functions as both a heater and an air conditioner. When it comes to cooling, ground-sourced heat pumps rely on temperature-conducting fluid that runs through piping installed in the ground. This piping is either underneath or next to your home. To cool effectively, the heat pump removes heat from the air in your home (it is absorbed by the temperature-conducting fluid) and then deposits it in the ground, where the earth absorbs the warmth. In the winter, the heat pump reverses this process, absorbing heat from the ground to bring warm air inside.
Generally, the ground temperature is fairly stable, usually staying between 45° and 55°. In some climates, the ground temperature can go higher. Still, when buried at the proper depth, the heat pump’s piping will always access ground temperatures significantly lower in the summer (and warmer in the winter) than the ambient temperature outside. This allows your geothermal heat pump to provide a heating and cooling range of around
A few quick facts about geothermal heat pumps:
- Geothermal heat pumps can heat, cool, and even provide hot water (depending on the model you install).
- Geothermal heat pumps require little maintenance.
- Geothermal heat pumps are very energy efficient, especially compared to traditional central air systems.
- The average life span of geothermal heat pumps is approximately 25 years, with ground piping expected to last at least 50 years.
- Most people can expect to see a return on their investment via energy savings in five to ten years.
Why Geothermal Heat Pumps Are So Popular
In recent years, geothermal heat pumps have increased in popularity. Many people have found them to be a great alternative to conventional furnaces and air conditioners. Not only are they highly effective, but they are also more environmentally friendly than traditional heating and cooling methods. Here in Georgia, where we rely on our air conditioners for a large portion of the year, the positive environmental impact found in switching from a conventional AC to a geothermal heat pump is significant.
Effective Cooling Tips for Homeowners with Geothermal Heat Pumps
As mentioned above, geothermal heat pumps are more energy-efficient than conventional AC systems. However, they do require a more substantial initial investment. With this in mind, we know that homeowners who choose to install geothermal heat pumps are also looking for ways to maximize their energy savings and get the most out of their new systems. Keep reading for three helpful tips for getting the most out of your new heat pump this summer.
#1: Maintain a Steady Temperature
The most efficient way to run your heat pump is to set your thermostat to a steady temperature and keep it there, even when away from home. When you turn your system off, especially during the day, your home’s temperature can climb into the 80s, if not higher. Then, when you turn on your AC when you get home, your AC has to work overtime to bring the temperature back down. While it may seem counterintuitive to leave your AC running when you are at work, by keeping your thermostat set to the same stable temperature, your heat pump ultimately runs less and doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool.
That being said, if you like keeping your home very cool, such as 68°, you may wish to increase the thermostat to 72° or 74° when you aren’t at home. That way, when you get home and turn down the thermostat to your preferred temperature, your system won’t have to work as hard or as long to get there.
#2: Keep Your System Clean & Change Your Air Filters
Another great way to improve your system’s efficiency is to keep the system clean. This means keeping air intakes clean, ensuring air vents are open and clear of obstructions and blockages, having your air ducts cleaned every few years, and regularly replacing your air filters. Clean systems can easily move air in and out of your home, and don’t have to run as long to bring your home to the correct temperature. The less your system has to struggle to circulate cool air, the more efficient it will be. Additionally, keeping your system clean can also help reduce wear and tear, ultimately helping you extend the overall lifespan of your heat pump.
#3: Keep Windows & Doors Closed While Running Your Heat Pump
Many of us open our windows and doors in the evenings or at night when the temperature drops outside. This is a great way to bring fresh air into your home and help keep your home cool without running your cooling system. However, before the temperature climbs and you turn your system on, you should ensure that all your windows and doors are closed. This is the best way to prevent cooling loss.
Relatedly, we recommend keeping your blinds and curtains drawn during the day, especially on south-facing windows. This will help block the sun and prevent it from heating your home and causing your heat pump to run more often.
Are you considering installing a geothermal heat pump at your home? If so, reach out to Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC. Our geothermal heat pump installation experts are standing by to answer your questions and help you determine if a heat pump is a good option for your home.