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What is Geothermal Heating?

All About Geothermal Heat Pumps

You might be wondering — what the heck is a geothermal heat pump? No, it’s not a science project. And it’s not some technical global warming term, either. In fact, this type of home heating has been in use since the 1940’s. Geothermal heat pumps use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature.

Sometimes referred to as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps, a geothermal heat pump uses the natural heat from the Earth to warm your home — not fossil fuels.

Modern geothermal systems exchange ambient heat with the ground, providing reliable heat throughout the winter. This green technology is gaining popularity due to its environmental sustainability, long lifespan, and monthly energy savings.

How Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Work?

Despite seasonal weather changes, the earth’s surface a few feet below the ground stays at a relatively constant temperature year-round. This ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer — similar to a cave. A geothermal heat pump exchanges heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger.

Similar to any heat pump, geothermal and water-source heat pumps are able to heat and cool your house. Some are even designed to supply a house with hot water! When compared to air-source heat pumps, geothermal pumps are quieter, last longer, need little maintenance, and do not rely on the temperature of the outside air.

If geothermal heat pumps are so great, why doesn’t everyone have them? The main factor is often cost. The installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of an air-source system of the same heating and cooling capacity. However, the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5 to 10 years, reports Energy.gov. System life is estimated at 25 years for the inside components and 50+ years for the ground loop.

Watch this U.S. Department of Energy video for an animated explanation of geothermal heating in your home.

Thinking of Going Green?

There are approximately 50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year. And with a simple call to One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, you could be one of them. The same HVAC experts who have supported your traditional heating can bring you into the future, too!

Request a geothermal heating assessment with One Hour Air to start on the path toward environmental sustainability, long HVAC lifespan, and monthly energy savings.

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