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How efficient is a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP)? The GSHP is one of the most efficient residential heating and cooling systems available today, with heating efficiencies 50 to 70% higher than other heating systems and cooling efficiencies 20 to 40% higher than available air conditioners. That directly translates into savings for you on your utility bills.
Can one system provide both space heating and cooling for my home? And what about heating hot water? Yes. A GSHP can be a combination heating/cooling and hot water heating system. You can change from one mode to another with a simple flick on your indoor thermostat. Using a desuperheater, some GSHPs can save you up to 50% on your water-heating bill by preheating tank water.
How does a GSHP system heat water for my home? Using what is called a desuperheater, GSHPs use waste heat to make hot water. During the summer, when the system is in cooling mode, your hot water is produced free as a byproduct of the thermal process. In winter, with the heating mode, the desuperheater heats a portion of your hot water. Desuperheaters are standard on some units, optional on others. Stand-alone systems that will heat water all year can be purchased.
How much space does a GSHP unit require? Most of a GSHP installation is underground, outside of your home. Inside the house, the heat pump units are about the same size as a traditional heating and cooling unit.
How long will my GSHP system last?
GSHPs are durable and highly reliable. They contain fewer mechanical components, and all components are either buried in the ground or located inside the home, which protects them from outside conditions. The underground pipe carries up to a 50-year warranty.
How noisy is the GSHP unit?
GSHPs are very quiet, providing a pleasant environment inside & outside of the home. There are no noisy fan units to disturb outdoor activities.
How safe are GSHPs? GSHP systems are safe and protected. With no exposed equipment outdoors, children or pets cannot injure themselves or damage exterior units. GSHPs have no open flame, flammable fuel or potentially dangerous fuel storage tanks.
What about comfort? A GSHP system moves warm air (90-105º F) throughout your home or business via standard ductwork. An even comfort level is created because the warm air is moved in slightly higher volumes and saturates the building with warmth more evenly. This helps even out hot or cold spots and eliminates the cold air blasts common with fossil fuel furnaces.
How effective is this underground system? The buried pipe, or ground loop, is the most recent technical advancement in heat pump technology. Recently, new heat pump designs and improved buried pipe materials have been combined to make GSHP systems the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.
Are GSHP systems guaranteed? Nearly all GSHP system manufacturers offer a warranty for major components that is equivalent to the warranties for conventional heating and cooling systems. Manufacturers of plastic pipe used for ground loops warrantee their products for 50 years.
Can these systems be used for commercial, industrial, or apartment requirements? Yes! Many GSHP systems are being installed using a multitude of systems hooked up to an array of buried vertical or horizontal loops. This simplifies zone control and internal load balancing.
How will I save money with a GSHP? GSHPs save money, both in operating costs and maintenance costs. Investments can be recouped in as little as three years. There is a positive cash flow, since the energy savings usually exceed payment on the system.
How much does a GSHP cost? The initial investment for a GSHP system is greater than a conventional system. Yet when you consider the operating costs of a geothermal heating, cooling, and water heating system, energy savings quickly offset the initial difference in purchase price.
What other costs are there besides the GSHP system? There may be installation charges for extra electrical work, ductwork, water hook-up, and other provisions or adaptations to your home that are required.
Does NJ offer any incentives for installing a GSHP system? Yes, you may qualify for a $5,000 rebate if you work with a BPI certified contractor like us.
Are GSHP systems difficult to install? Most units are easy to install, especially when they are replacing another forced-air system. GSHPs have no combustion and thus no need to vent exhaust fumes so they can be installed in areas unsuitable for fossil fuel furnace. Ductwork will be installed in homes without an existing air distribution system.
How far apart are trenches and vertical boreholes spaced? Trenches are spaced four to five feet apart while boreholes are spaced ten to fifteen feet apart.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the horizontal and vertical installations, respectively? Horizontal installations are simpler, requiring lower-cost equipment. However, they require longer lengths of pipe due to seasonal variations in soil temperature and moisture content. Since a horizontal heat exchanger is laid out in trenches, a larger area is usually required than for a vertical system. Where land is limited, vertical installations or a compact Slinky™ horizontal installation can be ideal. If regional soil conditions include extensive hard rock, a vertical installation may be the choice.
How do GSHPs protect the environment? GSHP systems conserve natural resources by providing climate control very efficiently-thus also lowering emissions. GSHPs also minimize ozone layer destruction by using factory-sealed refrigeration systems, which will seldom or never have to be recharged.
What are the environmental benefits of GSHP systems? Currently installed systems are eliminating more than three million tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 650,000 automobiles off the road. GSHP systems conserve energy because they move heat that already exists rather than burning something to create heat. Because the system doesn't rely on outside air, it keeps the air inside of buildings cleaner and free from pollens, outdoor pollutants, mold spores, and other allergens.
In extremely cold climates, are additional heat sources required? All systems are installed with emergency back up. Heat pumps can provide all the heat required even in the coldest weather.
Will my existing ductwork function with this system? Yes, in most cases. We will be able to determine ductwork requirements and do any minor modifications necessary for your location.
Will an underground loop affect my lawn or landscape?
Research has shown that loops have no adverse effects on grass, trees, or shrubs. Most horizontal installations require trenches about six inches wide. Temporary bare areas can be restored with grass seed or sod. Vertical loops require little space and do not damage lawns significantly.
Will many shade trees affect my ability to use it as an energy source?
Not at all. The system is installed deep enough that it utilizes constant ground temperature.
Can a GSHP system be added to my fossil fuel furnace? Yes. Called dual systems, they can easily be added to existing furnaces for those wishing to have a dual-fuel heating system. Dual-fuel systems use the GSHP system as the main heating source, and a fossil fuel furnace as a supplement in extremely cold weather should additional heat be needed.
Will I have to add insulation to my home if I install one of these systems? Ground source heat pump systems will reduce your heating and cooling costs regardless of how well your home is insulated. However, insulating and weatherizing are key factors in gaining the maximum amount of savings from any type of heating and cooling system. Call for more information about additional energy efficiency upgrades.
It’s best to start with an energy audit. You’ll reduce your electricity loads and require a smaller solar system. You could use the excess solar energy to charge your future electric vehicle!
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