When my husband and I were working on the plans to build a home, heating and cooling was a big consideration.
We live in an area that experiences huge weather fluctuations.
The temperature frequently drops below zero in the winter with extreme windchill. In the summer, we experience excessive humidity and temperatures in the high eighties. Heating and cooling are just about a year round consideration. We needed a system that would provide comfort yet keep costs low. It was also important to us to be as environmentally responsible as possible. The HVAC contractor we worked with recommended a geothermal heat pump. This type of system takes advantage of the free and renewable source of energy found underground. Because of the excavation and installation requirements of the underground loop system, it was a very expensive project. However, now that the geothermal system is operational, it achieves upwards of a 400% efficiency rating. We expect the system will pay for itself in under five years. Along with saving us money on heating and cooling bills, the geothermal heat pump also provides virtually free domestic hot water generation. It doesn’t overly dry out the air in the winter and handles the excess humidity in the summer. I like that the heat pump is quiet, safe and clean. There is no combustion process, so there’s no worry over carbon monoxide or other dangerous fumes. The underground loop is warrantied for 50 years and should last for much longer than that. With regular annual maintenance we can expect the indoor heat pump to provide reliable operation for at least twenty years.