Geothermal heat pumps: A reliable source of renewable heating

Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), also known as ground source heat pumps, are a highly reliable and efficient source of renewable heating. They are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and businesses alike, as more people turn to renewable heating sources. 

Geothermal heat pumps

Unlike traditional heating systems that rely on fossil fuels such as gas and oil, GHPs use the natural heat that is stored in the earth to provide warmth and hot water. In this blog, we take a closer look at how geothermal heat pumps work and their benefits. 

How do geothermal heat pumps work?

GHPs work by circulating a mixture of water and antifreeze through a system of pipes that are buried beneath the ground. This network of pipes is called a ground loop, typically installed horizontally in trenches or vertically in boreholes. As the water circulates through the ground loop, it absorbs the heat that is naturally stored on the earth. The water is then pumped back into the GHP unit, where it passes through a heat exchanger. Here, the heat is transferred from the water to the air, which is then blown into the building to provide warmth.

One of the most significant advantages of GHPs is their ability to operate efficiently in both heating and cooling modes. In the summer months, the system can be reversed, and the process of heat exchange can be used to cool the building. 

How geothermal heat pumps work.

What are the benefits of geothermal heat pumps?

Energy-efficiency

GHPs are incredibly energy-efficient for heating and cooling and can cut your energy bills as you’ll need less electricity and gas to keep your house warm. It’s also a perfect alternative to traditional energy sources for heating systems that don’t require high temperatures to operate, such as underfloor heating and radiators or fan coils that can operate at a lower temperature. 

Reliability

GHPs are highly reliable and require minimal maintenance. Ground coupled heat pumps have a long lifespan and can last for up to 25 years with proper maintenance. Once set up, they can just be left to do their job without the worry of regular expensive callouts. They also have the capacity for thermal energy storage, meaning you have back-up energy whenever you need it. 

Environmentally-friendly

GHPs produce zero emissions, making them an excellent choice for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and have an eco-friendly heating source. This is because they simply draw any natural heat straight from the ground, without burning any fossil fuels or releasing harmful gases into the environment. They do however rely on electricity to run so if you don’t rely on renewable sources for your electricity then they would be operating on some fossil fuel sources. Although, you’d still be using less fossil fuel-produced energy than if you used a furnace or boiler for example. 

Cost-effective

While the upfront cost of installing a GHP system may be higher than traditional heating systems, the long-term savings on energy bills can more than make up for it. They only require 1 KwH of electricity to make over 10,000 BTUs of heating or cooling which has 2x the efficiency of a standard air conditioning system. You also won’t require any fuel deliveries which helps keep costs low in the long run.

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