The Highly Efficient and Eco-Friendly Heat Pump

At no fault of your own, you may have immediately presumed that everyone, everywhere should have a heat pump because they are the most eco-friendly and environmentally sound heating system. Although this isn’t necessarily the case for all heat pumps, it’s definitely worth highlighting the benefits associated with the relevant kind – the geothermal heat pump.

Before taking a further look into this type of HVAC system, let’s first address the basics.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a unique heating system that is capable of both heating and cooling designated environments. In hot climates, it performs similar to an electric-powered air conditioner, collecting heat from the indoors, expelling it outdoors and then replacing it with cool air. When the indoor climate is cold, it does the opposite, transferring the cold air away from the area requiring heat.

Air source heat pumps are normally used in environments that experience moderate climates, where air temperature differences are taken full advantage of to heat and cool the respective properties. Heat pumps with a stamp of approval from Energy Star have a greater seasonal efficiency rating (SEER) and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) than standard models. This results in 8 percent more efficiency than new standard models and 20 percent more efficiency than older furnace models.

Efficient and Eco-Friendly

With the current increase in ‘green’ initiatives and government incentives, rewarding those that actively seek to lower their carbon emissions, it is no wonder that geothermal heat pumps are receiving more attention in many areas of the world. Undoubtedly, they are highly energy efficient and naturally eco-friendly. This is largely due to fact that they transfer heat directly from and towards the ground in different climates.

For example, during the winter geo-heat pumps draw hot air upwards from beneath the earth’s surface, while in the summer cold air is transferred back in the ground to provide cooling. The actual process of heat transfer occurs by a refrigerant loop, situated in the core part of the pump, being pushed through a vapour-compression cycle. Some experts have stated that, individually, geothermal heat pumps can provide up to three units of heat for every single unit required for them to operate. In Lehman’s terms, this means that they can achieve efficiency levels of up to 300 percent. How’s that for energy efficiency!

Energy Costs…

Taking this into consideration, it clearly makes sense for these heating systems to be incorporated in blueprints for new property developments. For existing properties, its application can be better accepted as part of a major renovation, and would be an ideal investment for those already planning a building remodel project that takes into account environmental concerns.

Geothermal heating systems provide heating, air-conditioning, hot water, and dehumidification, but with up to 80 percent less annual operating costs than most other heating options. It’s no surprise then that average high efficiency furnace prices for geothermal systems are two to three times more expensive than alternative options, and on average three to five times more costly than alternative low- to mid-efficiency heating systems.

…and Overall Energy Savings

There are two very good reasons for the premium asking price. The first is that geothermal heat pumps significantly reduce annual operating costs by up to 80 percent, which in itself is a great energy and money savings feat. This means that even though its initial cost of acquisition is visibly greater than alternative systems, the geothermal heating option still remains a feasible budget solution in many scenarios.

The second reason, which can never be overstated, is that geothermal energy is extremely environmentally-friendly. Whereas natural gas, oil and wood-burning systems release carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other toxic pollutants into the atmosphere, geothermal heat pumps do not. Similarly, geothermal systems don’t produce ash and soot, making them exempt from wastage issues. In as much as gas is the cleaner element to burn than oil and wood it remains a highly explosive risk and air polluting chemical. Geothermal systems, on the other hand, are typically closed and non-dependent on toxin-releasing fuels, making them much, much better for us, plants, animals and our beloved environment.

So next time you are planning to buy a new home, or develop your own property, think geothermal! It’s a clean, economical solution that’s extremely good for the environment. This means you’ll definitely be doing your bit to sustain the environment and no-one can tell you otherwise. That makes it worthwhile all by itself.

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