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Is a Geothermal Heat Pump Right for Me?

Posted on: November 13, 2017

Geothermal heat pump systems are a powerful and efficient comfort tool, and well suited to our area. But though they’ve been around for a good long while, how they function and what benefits they can provide aren’t exactly common knowledge. Interested in a geothermal system but not quite sure it’s the right fit for your home? Follow along with the pros at GAC Services while we detail the ins and outs of a GHP!

Need an expert opinion, or looking for experts near you who offer geothermal heat pump installation? Contact GAC Services online today to get started.

How a Geothermal Heat Pump Works

The basis of how a geothermal heating and cooling system operates is rooted in the same concept as your more garden variety air-source heat pump. They both move heat rather than generate it, as is the case for a furnace or boiler. Heat pumps accomplish this by tapping into thermal energy wherever the source they derive it from is. Air-source means outdoor air, and geothermal (or ground-source) as you might be expecting, means from the earth.

A geothermal installation places a large portion of the unit underground where it can harness residual thermal energy. The big benefit of this over a standard heat pump is that the temperature underground is fairly constant at all times, regardless of what season it is in Maryland. So the unit extracts heat from the ground when you need heating and moves it into your home, or moves warm air out of your home in the summers to keep things cool.

The Pros of a Geothermal Heat Pump

So what does all this science net you? Quite a whole lot. Geothermal units are lauded as one of the greatest home comfort systems out there, and once you know the benefits it’s easy to see why:

  • Peerless energy-efficiency. A good high quality furnace can gain you roughly 100% efficiency overall. However a geothermal heat pump can actually hit efficiency ratings of over 3-400%. That means absolutely unmatched cost effectiveness and plenty of even comfort in all seasons.
  • Effective heating and cooling. A geothermal system is an all in one system that can easily and comfortably handle keeping your home warm in the winter and cool come the summertime. That means you don’t have to shell out for two separate systems, which mitigates the upfront cost of a GHP.
  • Environmentally green. At its core a geothermal heat pump is solar powered, since it’s using energy already present in naturally-warmed soil. By avoiding unnecessary electrical and fuel expenditures it can avoid harming the environment, which can drastically lower your carbon footprint.
  • Exceptional longevity. Once installed you can expect a GHP to last at a minimum of 25-30 years, and even 50 or more if the system is maintained consistently. Compare that to the 10-15 years of a furnace and this benefits is firmly in the bag.

The Downsides

We love and strongly endorse geothermal heat pump systems, but it would be dishonest to say there aren’t any drawbacks! Any system comes with it’s caveats, and a GHP is no exception. The biggest hurdle lies in the upfront cost, since a geothermal system can cost you up to double another heating system of comparable quality. This cost does get mitigated via the longevity and efficiency of the system, but a big price tag is most certainly worth noting.

It’s also worth mentioning that the installation can be somewhat intrusive to your landscape, since a geothermal system essentially gets buried, and they aren’t exactly small. This means you might have to do some landscape replanning if you’re going to shoot for a geothermal unit, though that’s not always the case.

Our Recommendation for Geothermal Heat Pumps

In the end it’s all going to come down to what works best for you. We love geothermal units, and we’re confident you would, too. But that doesn’t mean it’s your best option. Every home and household is unique, carrying with it specific structural needs, family preferences, budgets, and more.

Your best solution is to choose to work with experts you can trust and have a very open dialogue about the whole thing. Be honest! Talk earnestly about what you want, what you need, and your budget constraints, and then if your experts are worth their salt they’ll help you come to a conclusion you’ll be satisfied with.

Geothermal Heat Pump Services in Maryland

If you’re interested in learning more about geothermal heat pumps, or you want to find out if one is the right fit for you, contact GAC Services online! We’ve been proudly serving Frederick, Montgomery, and Howard counties for decades and we’d love the opportunity to help you get the system that’s best for your needs.

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