3 Differences Between Water Source and Geothermal Heat Pumps

geothermal heat pump system

When it comes to heat pumps, there are characteristics that you only find in one system and not in another. Concerning statistics, water source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps equally vie for homeowners' attention everywhere. Nonetheless, when it comes to your specific location and your needs, choosing between the two can be quite difficult.

You have to remember that water source heat pumps are technically a type of geothermal heat pump. Geothermal heat pumps consist of ground source heat pumps, rock source heat pumps, and water source heat pumps. The first two geothermal heat pumps include drilling a wire below the earth's surface to tap thermal heat from the ground or rock bed.

Heat Source

The reason why more people would go with geothermal heat pumps than water heat pumps is the mere fact that we can’t all live near water sources. If you are in a landlocked area, finding a water source can be very difficult. Ground heat pumps and rock heat pumps provide you with the same convenience of a fully functional heat pump system by utilizing the ground.

Seasonal Thermal Storage

One feature of ground heat pumps that you can’t find in water source heat pumps, otherwise known as closed pond loops, is seasonal thermal storage. Since the ground doesn’t produce as much heat in the winter as it does during summer, it’s beneficial for the system to recycle the heat emitted in the warmer seasons during the cooling periods of the year. That’s exactly what seasonal thermal storage is all about. This is why homeowners with ground heat pumps installed in their homes benefit from constant heating throughout the year, no matter how cold it might be outside.


If you’re purchasing a heating system, you must look at that specific system's projected lifetime. You can rest assured that your ground heat pumps will last literally a lifetime. The assembly of this heating system protects it from mechanical and environmental harm. Because you will be burying the coils and wires underground, the chances are that it won’t be disturbed as easily as the wires and coils you have down in any waterbed. The top system is estimated to last for 30 years while the underground system will last for 50 or more years.

Water source heat pumps may not be as durable as their geothermal heat pump counterparts. This is because swimmers or the residing creatures may move the pipes submerged below the body of water. And when something goes awry, fixing coils submerged underwater can prove challenging. Unless your heat pump vendor can suggest troubleshooting methods that won’t be too cumbersome, you can always give the air source heat pump a go. But if you want a relatively hassle-free heat pump, you should stick with ground source heat pumps.