Over the past few months you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about the benefits of geothermal heat pumps and how they’re going to revolutionize the heating world. But how much of that talk is fact, and how much is exaggeration? At Michael Bonsby Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re here to set the facts straight about geothermal heat pumps once and for all.
What’s so great about geothermal heat pumps?
One of the biggest benefits of geothermal heat pumps is that they don’t have to burn fuel to create heat. Instead, they efficiently draw heat from the core of the earth and bring it up to the surface and into your home. If this doesn’t seem like it will be enough heat, think about this: the temperature of the earth’s core is a constant 12,600oF – that’s a lot of heat! Now granted, a geothermal heat pump won’t go down quite that far (unless you want to pay a couple million for drilling), but you get the idea.
Even better, geothermal heat pumps can function as both a heater in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer! If you’ve ever visited a cave such as Luray Caverns, one thing you may have noticed is that the temperature is cooler in the cave than outside in the summer and warmer than outside in the winter. This is not the result of some complex cave air conditioning system – it’s because the inside of the cave is not subject to the weather outside. Instead, the temperature of the earth’s core keeps the temperature in the cave constant. This same principle applies to geothermal heat pumps! Imagine that – one single appliance for all your heating and air conditioning needs.
Aren’t geothermal heat pumps expensive?
In a word? Yes. Geothermal heat pumps can sometimes cost homeowners as much as $25,000 or more. But before you go running back to your furnace, consider this: this winter has been bitterly cold. How much have you spent on gas or oil for your furnace? One of the benefits of geothermal heat pumps is that since they don’t burn fuel to produce heat (and use only electricity to run), they can reduce your monthly energy costs by 30% – 40% according to EPA estimates! In addition, most geothermal heat pumps come with a device called a “desuperheater” which can heat water – in the winter it can cut hot water costs by about half, and in the summer by almost 100%! Estimates show that in certain climates, geothermal heat pump systems, even with their high initial costs, can have a payback period of as little as five to ten years!
Still not convinced? How about this – when was the last time your heater broke down? How much did it cost to fix? Since the pipes if geothermal heat systems are located underground, they are not subject to the elements the way conventional heating and cooling systems are (the rest of the components can go either in your basement or outside). While most heaters and air conditioners have a life span of about 15 years, the piping of a geothermal heat pump can last as long as 30 years or more with regular maintenance.
While many homeowners find themselves scared off by the high initial costs of installing a geothermal heat pump, the ones that go ahead and do it are almost never disappointed. If you’re ready to make the jump from your conventional furnace and air conditioner and want to experience the benefits of geothermal heat pumps for yourself, contact Michael Bonsby Heating and Air Conditioning today!