Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems
The biggest benefit of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) is that they use 25% to 50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems. This translates into a GHP using one unit of electricity to move three units of heat from the earth. According to the EPA, geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption — and corresponding emissions — up to 44% compared with air-source heat pumps and up to 72% compared with electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment. GHPs also improve humidity control by maintaining about 50% relative indoor humidity, making GHPs very effective in humid areas.
Geothermal heat pump systems allow for design flexibility and can be installed in both new and retrofit situations. Because the hardware requires less space than that needed by a conventional HVAC system, the equipment rooms can be greatly scaled down, freeing space for productive uses. GHP systems also provide excellent “zone” space conditioning, allowing different parts of your home to be heated or cooled to different temperatures.
GHP systems have relatively few moving parts and those parts are sheltered inside a building, so the systems are durable and highly reliable. The underground piping often carries warranties of 25 to 50 years, and the heat pumps often last 20 years or more. They usually have no outdoor compressors, so geothermal heat pumps are not susceptible to vandalism. In addition, the components in the living space are easily accessible, which increases the convenience factor and helps ensure that the upkeep is done on a timely basis.
Geothermal heat pumps have no outside condensing units like air conditioners, so there’s no concern about noise outside the home. A two-speed GHP system is so quiet inside a house that users usually do not know it is operating.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy Choosing and Installing Geothermal Heat Pumps