"But isn't electricity expensive to run?" We hear this often. These options are less expensive to run than a gas system. They are far more advance and have far greater technology as a hydronic system than what you remember in the past. Traditional electricity based options would generate 1KW of heating energy for every 1KW of electricity it consumed. These units can generate up to 5KWs of heating energy for every 1KW of electricity they consume. That's up to 5 times more efficient!
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are not only the most comfortable way to heat, they’re also versatile enough to excel in almost any home or any environment. They can be scaled for single-family homes to entire commercial premises.
In addition to their usage across all areas of development, Geothermal systems are rated number one for their energy efficiency. This is due to the fact that a Geothermal system only consumes one unit of electrical energy for every five that it produces. Compare that to even the best ordinary system that delivers less than one unit of energy for every unit it consumes! That translates into an efficiency rating approaching 500% and some serious savings to you!
These systems also minimize the effects of air pollution, greenhouse gasses and global warming. In fact, installing a single geothermal unit is the environmental equivalent of planting 750 trees or removing two cars from the road.
Reliable & Clean
Because geothermal units aren’t subjected to the punishing effects of outdoor weather or fuel combustion, they last longer than nearly any other heating and cooling system. You can expect upwards of 20 years of reliability from your geothermal system, compared to many less for standard heating & cooling options. And as the unit is exchanging heat through the ground, it is perfect for asthma & allergy sufferers.
So How does it work?
Using a series of underground pipes & a geothermal heat pump, it exchanges heat with the earth instead of outdoor air. While air temperatures can vary greatly from day to night or winter to summer, the ground stays relatively constant year round.
The system uses a series of underground pipes called a “loop.” The earth loop eliminates the need for fossil fuels. It’s the heart of a geothermal system and its biggest advantage over ordinary heating technologies. The type of loop used is based on available land space and installation costs for specific areas.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Referring to the image above, the idea of an air source heat pump (ASHP) is exactly the same as the geothermal, however it's extracting heat out of the air, instead of the earth.
Because the temperature in the earth is fairly stable, the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit is not affected by the weather outside. However performance of the ASHP will be affected by the weather as it's relying on extracting heat out of the air, which is subject to major variations in our climate.
Whilst the geothermal units are superior in their efficiency (and subsequently running costs), they also come with limitations that can be deterrents, such as installation cost and land area available for earth works. Where land availability has been an issue, we have seen many clients invest their money into an ASHP coupled with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. This is so hot right now and financially accessible to more new home builders.
Contact us to discuss a heat pump and solar PV package for your new home!