The geothermal heat pump has become the heating and cooling unit of choice by many homeowners. The leading reasons are to save money and reduce their impact on the world around them while still remaining comfortable inside their homes.
The money saving features of this heating and air conditioning unit comes from the lower monthly energy bill and the longevity of the unit itself. Just like the name suggests, this type of unit takes advantage of the temperature difference between what is at the surface and the temperature below ground.
On average, the portion of the unit that runs underground has a life span of twice as long as, or more than, the portion that is exposed to the elements on the surface.
The principle behind the function of a heat pump is simple. They transfer heat from a hotter place to a colder place. This is why this type of unit can be used both as a source of heat for your house and as an air conditioner.
The early heat pumps did not make use of the geothermal opportunity that was available to them. The heat exchange was on the surface which does work, but is limited by the temperature of the outside air.
Extracting heat from sub zero air is possible, but requires more energy to heat your home. The same goes for cooling your home in the summer. The larger the temperature gradient is, the more energy required for the heat pump to perform its desired function.
For any homeowner with a basement, they can experience this temperature variance first hand by descending into their basement on a hot day. The temperature difference might only be 5 to 10 degrees, but it can be felt.
This is the same principle that a geothermal heat pump uses for the exchange of heat for your home. On average, the depth of the closed loop system of your unit is only 4 to 6 feet. The deeper it is, the greater the temperature difference will be, along with the efficiency of your unit. You will have a unit that outputs steady temperatures at a lower than average cost of operation.