All about Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ground Source or Geoexchange heat pumps take heat from the ground or a body of water in the winter, which is then used to heat a home. In the summer, it reverses the process by removing heat from the home and “rejecting” it into the ground or water. Ground source heat pumps are also referred to as Earth-Energy Systems (EES’s).
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Despite the marked improvement in air-to-air heat pumps in recent years, ground source heat pumps tend to be more efficient because the underground temperature of the Earth tends to be more stable.
A ground source system should be able to cover about 75 percent of a home’s heating needs, thus substantially reducing dependence on fossil fuels or electricity. In fact, ground source systems should pay for themselves in the form of saved energy costs within three to 10 years.
Like air-to-air heat pumps, they use forced air, hot water or electric heat as a backup. This is typically required only on the coldest days of the year.
Many ground source heat pumps are self-contained and include a blower, compressor, heat exchanger and condenser coil in one cabinet. However “split systems” which allow the heating/cooling coil to be added to the existing furnace, granted that the original furnace is retained for backup heating, are also available.
The total cost of installing a geothermal system varies depending on the site, but it typically runs about double the cost of installing a conventional furnace or boiler with air conditioning.
Learn more and locate a qualified contractor to service your air conditioners by going to the Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) Contractor Locator page, or calling 1-877-467-HRAI (4724). All HRAI member contractors have been pre-screened and have the required trade licences, technical certifications and insurance coverage to service on your system.
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