What Should I consider when exploring a geothermal system?
In most circumstances the initial investment for a geothermal
heat pump is greater than a conventional system, but over time the
energy savings quickly offsets the initial difference in purchase
price. To get an accurate comparison, you would need to consider
- Payback - how long it takes to recover the
difference in installation costs between the two systems using
comparative energy savings. This usually runs 5-7 years, but will
depend on the scope of work.
- Energy efficiency and ratings of the existing
system vs. a geothermal heat pump, this can be affected by how well
your home is insulated
- Energy costs and availability - fossil fuel
markets can see price fluctuations which should be taken into
- Total operating savings from heating, cooling,
and domestic hot water (which is typically lower with geothermal
Which Loop System Is Best, Open-Loop Or Closed-Loop?
The best configuration for your home will depend on whether you
have adequate groundwater supply and potential means of disposal.
If the groundwater and property are suitable than an open-loop
selection can be an appropriate option. Open loop systems do
require an additional pump to supply water from the source and
water conditions should be considered. Because of
limiting property conditions, closed-loop systems are more
Once installed, will an underground loop adversely affect my
lawn and surrounding landscape?
Research has shown that loops have no adverse effect on the
property above. Most horizontal installations require trenches 3
feet wide. Temporary bare areas and problematic regions can be
reinstated with grass seed or sod. In some instances,
horizontal trenching provides an opportunity to remove and repair
low lying regions and landscape with poor drainage. Vertical loops
require little linear space though there will be disturbance from
access of the drilling rig. Once installed, the loops with
not harm the surrounding property though post installation
landscaping will be required to restore the property
How Long Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Last?
Geothermal heat pumps are durable and have fewer mechanical
components than standard fossil fuel systems. All components
are underground or indoors and will be sheltered from the weather
and outdoor elements. The lifespan of a geothermal heat pump
unit it typically twice that of a force air system.
Maintenance is recommended to ensure the heat pump is operating by
The underground piping composed primarily of polyethylene, is
guaranteed to last up to 50 year. Once installed this pipe is
How Much Indoor Space Does A Geothermal Heat Pump Occupy?
Inside the home, the geothermal heat pump is similar in size to
a traditional heating and cooling unit and will most likely occupy
the same location as the existing conditioning unit.
Geothermal heat pumps are most effective as forced air
systems. Plans for ductwork should be considered in the
absence of a forced air system.
Will I Need A Secondary Heat Source During Extreme Cold
Ground source heat pumps require a supplemental heating if
configured as the primary heating source for the home. The
heat pump can provide all required heat for the home with the
addition of electric heat. Unique Indoor Comfort will
simulate what percentage of heat will be provided by the heat pump
in contrast to a secondary means and how this would affect
Can A Geothermal Heat Pump Also Provide Hot Water For My
Yes. If configured with a Hot Water Generator (HWG) for on
demand hot wateror desuperheaters to supplement the production of
domestic hot water, geothermal units can provide domestic hot water
for the home. (See: hot geothermal units operate)
How Noisy Is The Heat Pump Unit?
The geothermal unit is engineered to reduce noise with an
Insulated compressor compartment and interior cabinet.
The decibel ratings for noise are equivalent to standard
Will I Have To Add Insulation To My Home If I Install A
Geothermal Heat Pump?
Geothermal heat pumps will reduce your heating and cooling costs
regardless of how well your home is insulated, however to maximize
savings, insulating and weatherization are key factors for any type
of heating and cooling system.
Is A Geothermal Heat Pump Able To Heat My Radiant System?
Yes, there are units made specifically for in-floor radiant
applications. For weather climates of the northeast
geothermal heat pumps are not able to produce water temperatures
high enough to heat as a baseboard or radiator system.