Ground-Source Heat Pump

What is a ground-source heat pump?

A ground-source heat pump (GSHP), also known as a geothermal heat pump, is a renewable and more efficient alternative to the traditional furnace, boiler, or AC unit. A geothermal heat pump sits inside your home and works with geothermal ground loops buried in your yard to draw warmth into your home for heating and push warmth out of your home for cooling.

How does a ground-source heat pump compare to a traditional furnace?

A traditional furnace must burn fuel oil or gas in a combustion chamber to generate heat. A geothermal heat pump, however, simply circulates heat into and out of the home, which requires much less energy input.

And, while traditional HVAC systems require separate systems for separate functions (furnace for heating and AC unit for cooling), ground-source heat pumps serve a two-in-one function to save space in your home.

Are ground-source heat pumps effective even in extreme climates?

Yes! Regardless of seasons, temperatures, and climates above ground, the conditions below the frost line underground remain a consistent 50 to 55 degrees. Dandelion Geothermal operates in the American Northeast, a region known for its seasonal shifts in weather and temperature, yet geothermal heating and cooling remains effective, convenient, and efficient year round.

How do ground-source heat pumps compare to air-source heat pumps?

Ground-source heat pumps and air-source heat pumps operate similarly: they both pump heat into the home in the winter and pump heat out of the home in the summer. The difference is that ground-source heat pumps draw heat from underground, while air-source heat pumps draw heat from the air outside. However, since weather and temperature change daily above ground, air-source heat pumps will always have to work harder than ground-source heat pumps do. In other words, in terms of cost and efficiency, air-source heat pumps are no match for their ground-source counterparts.

How efficient are ground-source heat pumps?

The efficiency of heating and cooling systems can be objectively compared using a measurement called the Coefficient of Performance (COP). A heat pump is currently the only residential heating and cooling option with a COP score above 1 — the break-even point between energy consumed and produced by the system. Dandelion’s geothermal heat pump has a COP of 4, meaning that for every 1 unit of energy used to operate the system, it produces 4 units of energy to heat and cool your home. In contrast, most other systems actually consume more energy than they produce.

How much money can you save with a ground-source heat pump?

After getting geothermal, most homeowners eliminate their heating fuel bills and see a moderate increase in their electrical bills, leading to an overall reduction in monthly energy bills. Depending on the type of fuel your old furnace used and your heating needs, the overall savings could total into thousands of dollars over the life of your geothermal system. Here’s an example of potential cost savings for fuel oil, natural gas, and propane customers who have converted to geothermal.

Heating costs and the savings associated with a geothermal system are relative to energy prices. As the prices of natural gas, propane, and heating oil increase with respect to the price of electricity, the savings associated with getting geothermal increase.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that homeowners can save up to 70% on heating costs and 50% on cooling costs with geothermal.

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of ground-source heat pumps, you can find out more about Dandelion’s system here!