Pros and Cons of a Ground Source Heat Pump
A ground source heat pump is a geothermal system that harnesses heat from underground to be used for home heating. To use this type of system, pipes are laid in the ground surrounding the house. Vertical boreholes can also be drilled if space is a limitation. Pipes are then laid out in the boreholes. A heat pump which functions like a fridge is then used to transfer the heat from ground into the house through an under-floor heating system. Below are the pros and cons of a geothermal heating system.
A geothermal heat pump is one of the most eco-friendly methods available. It does not involve combustion of fossil fuels for heating. No pollution is associated with ground source heating. This makes it an excellent green method for use in house warming and heating needs.
The energy harnessed from the ground is free, which makes geothermal heating a viable option. It is more economical to use than heat pumps fueled by electricity or natural gas. Besides, the energy is constantly available and there is no danger of supplies being depleted.
Geothermal heating is a boost for eco-friendly energy utilization. A ground source heat pump is a clean, comfortable and convenient system for home use. No toxic gas emissions, soot, smoke or large fuel tanks are involved. This boosts its eco-friendly ratings. It is also a low-maintenance system as it does not need regular servicing. This helps to contain running costs.
The system is also multi-functional. Besides warming and cooling the house, the system can also heat household water.
For a geothermal heating system to work efficiently, good insulation is vital. Where insulation is poor, frequently in old houses, the system’s efficiency is compromised. Correcting unsatisfactory insulation can be a costly undertaking. This may well turn out to be a deterrent to installation of a ground source heating system.
Running costs and maintenance may be minimal. However, installation is a costly affair. Set-up costs exceed those associated with air-source systems by far. However, energy savings over time may well balance the initial costs.
Adequate space is necessary for the system to be installed. If you live in a dense neighborhood, it will prohibit you from using this system. Where space is restricted boreholes can be drilled. However, the holes must be sunk fairly deep. If unsatisfactory soil is encountered underground it will hamper the goal. Boreholes also destabilize the ground surface and may be considered a minus for environmentally friendly endeavors.
Ground source heating is generally considered a low-maintenance heating system. However, in the event that repairs are necessary, it will be no easy affair attending to long pipes laid underground. Tracing the exact source of a problem can be difficult and time consuming. This adds to the overall costs. Ground source heating systems are not completely eco-friendly. Refrigerants used eventually leak into the atmosphere causing environmental pollution.