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How Efficient is Geothermal Energy?

Energy efficiency is a hot topic in the HVAC world. Technology is always evolving, presenting new innovations that help manufacturers develop equipment and systems that make even more efficient use of the energy they consume. While many homeowners look to the latest air conditioner and furnace models for high efficiency, they often overlook a system type that can offer even more energy savings – geothermal. In our most recent blog, Grove Heating & Cooling explains how efficient geothermal energy is for heating and cooling Maryland homes.

About Geothermal HVAC Systems

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are a type of heat pump system that transfers heat from one area to another to increase indoor temperatures for heating and lower temperatures for cooling. Common air source heat pumps transfer heat between the indoor air and outdoor air, but geothermal systems transfer heat between the indoor air and the earth or a water source.

Geothermal systems take advantage of natural heat that occurs within the earth as an energy source used to heat the home. This energy is absorbed from the earth by the ground loop, which is a system component that is essentially a fluid-filled pipeline that is installed below ground. The fluid absorbs heat and circulates it to the heat pump above in the home for transfer. For cooling, the earth or a nearby body of water simply serves as a receptacle where excess heat from the home is released by circulating fluid in the ground loop.

How Efficient are Geothermal HVAC Systems?

Many homeowners are shocked when they first hear how efficient geothermal heat pump systems are. This is because their efficiency levels are much greater than conventional heating and cooling systems, as they require less power to run and provide a great deal of heat transfer for the energy they do use.

A geothermal heat pump’s heating efficiency is measured as coefficient of performance (COP) and its cooling efficiency is reflected by the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). These measures share the number of units of heat provided or removed compared to the number of units of electricity consumed to do the job. Ground source heat pumps typically provide 4 units of heat energy for every unit of electrical power they require.

So how efficient is geothermal energy? 400 percent efficient! Comparatively, the highest efficiency conventional systems available today are only 98 percent efficient. Geothermal heat pumps are more efficient than air conditioning systems and air source heat pumps, too. High-efficiency geothermal heat pumps have EERs up to 25, while the highest efficiency air conditioners only go up to 15!

These cooling systems transfer heat from the home to the outdoors, while a geothermal model transfers that heat into the earth. When outdoor temperatures are quite hot, it is difficult for an air conditioner or air source heat pump to release the heat into the air, thus efficiency drops. Geothermal systems don’t have this problem, as the temperature below ground stays consistent around 55 degrees all the time.

Cost savings are another important factor to consider with geothermal heat pump systems? Although installation costs are higher up front, replacing an air conditioner or air source heat pump with a geothermal system generates a 25 to 50 percent reduction in cooling costs, as less energy is required for the system to move heat.

Cool Your Home with Geothermal Energy

Are you impressed by how efficient geothermal energy is? You can start saving on heating and cooling costs year-round with a new geothermal HVAC system from Grove Heating & Cooling. We offer expert installation for Maryland homeowners looking to make drastic energy-efficiency improvements in home heating and cooling. Contact us today to request a consultation today to receive an estimate for geothermal installation at your home.

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