Ground source heat pumps use the heat that is absorbed from the ground and harnesses this energy to heat homes and businesses. The pumps utilize pipes that are buried in the ground in order to extract heat and use that heat for radiators, hot water, and heating systems found in flooring.
In the ground, the temperature remains relatively constant so the ground source heat pump is able to be used during all seasons, making it an excellent choice for home heating.
How Do the Pumps Function?
The pump circulates an antifreeze and water solution through a ground loop composed of piping that is buried in the ground. The heat in the ground is then absorbed within the fluid and then pumped via a heat exchanger located within the pump. The heat energy enters a compressor and becomes concentrated into an elevated temperature that is able to heat water for hot water circuits and general heating. The fluid is then recycled and is able to absorb additional ground energy, making the process continuous.
The ground loop’s length will depend upon the home’s size as well as the amount of heat which is needed. The longer the loop, the more it is able to draw the ground’s heat. However, more space is needed in order to bury the loop within the ground.
Typically, the ground loop is inserted flat into the ground or can also be coiled within trenches that are dug. However, if the yard does not possess adequate space to install the ground loop, it is possible to use a vertical loop instead.
Ground source heat pumps have an enormous environmental impact. Even though they require electricity in order to function, the heat that is extracted from beneath the surface is able to be naturally and continuously renewed.
Unlike oil and gas boilers, the ground source heat pumps provide lower temperature heat over a long period of time. Because of this, it may be necessary to leave the pumps on all the time during the colder months. Additionally, this means that the radiators in the home should always feel cooler than oil and gas boilers.
Advantages of the Ground Source Heat Pump
There are several advantages to obtaining a ground source heat pump for a home. These include:
• The system requires little maintenance meaning that little attention needs to be paid to the technology after it is installed.
• Fuel bills can be lowered, particularly if electric heating is the current source of power.
• The pumps can provide both hot water as well as space heating.
Aside from benefiting the pocket of the individual responsible for paying the utilities, these pumps have been proven to significantly reduce a home of other building’s carbon footprint by lowering emissions.