The Pros and Cons of Water and Ground Source Geothermal Heat Pumps
If you are considering upgrading your home with an energy efficient geothermal heat pump system, you may want to learn more about the pros and cons of two different variations of these green HVAC systems. Both water source and ground source heat can be used to draw warmth indoors during the heating months and as a heat sink during the cooling months, but depending upon your situation, one is likely to be more appropriate to provide you with lower utility costs and a more comfortable home year round.
Groundwater heat pump geothermal systems, also known as open loop systems, use a pump to draw deep ground water to a heat pump unit where the consistent warmth of the water is extracted and transferred to your indoor living space during the cooler months of the year. In summer, excess indoor heat can be dumped into the groundwater which will be cooler than the air temperature during warm months.
Water source systems have advantages and disadvantages including:
- Lower cost installation when compared to other types of geothermal systems.
- Protection of water table levels, since the groundwater used is returned to its original source through a separate injection well; this also protects your equipment from well water of questionable quality.
- Very specific installation requirements with regards to a nearby groundwater source. Ground source heat pump systems are more common since they do not have special requirements.
Their pros and cons include:
- Closed loop piping systems filled with a non toxic antifreeze solution which can last over 50 years with minimal maintenance.
- Vertical and horizontal styles of installation to suit nearly any location.
- A higher initial investment than with water source systems. Ultimately, discussing your situation with an HVAC professional is the safest way to ensure you are making the best selection between water source and ground source heat systems.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Photo Credit: Black_Claw via Compfight cc