A Geothermal Heat Pump and Hydronic Radiant Heating Can Work Together
A geothermal heat pump and hydronic radiant heating are a matched set for efficient household comfort. Geothermal uses the unvarying latent heat just below the surface of the earth as a source of warmth in the winter. This clean, economical alternative is four times more efficient than combustion-based heating such as natural gas. Hydronic radiant heating utilizes hot water to turn the subfloor of your home into a radiant heat source for gentle, consistent warmth. Here’s how the systems work —and work together.
Year-round temperatures just six feet underground never vary much from 50 to 55 degrees. A geothermal system harvests this heat with long, U-shaped loops of high-density plastic tubing buried in shallow trenches or deep bores. As the tubing circulates heat-absorbing fluid, latent heat picked up from the earth is conveyed to the geothermal heat pump where it is multiplied by a compressor to temperatures sufficient to warm the home.
Installed under the subflooring of your home, a hydronic system incorporates a grid of tubing circulating hot water and radiating warmth upward into the room. This heats objects and people through gentle convection and conduction, without the blasting hot air of a conventional forced-air system. Hydronic heat is more efficient because warmth radiates more consistently and stays lower in the room instead of accumulating at the ceiling.
Geothermal Hydronic Radiant Heating
A geothermal heat pump with a desuperheater can also heat water for circulation through a hydronic floor heating system. The desuperheater is a secondary heat exchanger that captures surplus heat from the heat pump and transfers it to water pumped into a water heater storage tank for use in the hydronic system. The desuperheater option is typically incorporated into a multifunction heat pump that consolidates heating, cooling and water heating functions into a single unit.
Contact Sobieski Services for more advice on combining the best of both worlds with a geothermal heat pump and hydronic floor heating. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Inspire Kelly