If you’ve considered installing a geothermal heat pump, you already know about the efficiency and savings that these units provide.
But maybe you're still intimidated by the installation process. While installation costs are higher, it pays for itself in a matter of years. A geothermal heat pump delivers more energy for each unit consumed than other types of systems — up to four units of heat for every unit spent on electricity. Some systems can also heat water for household use for even more savings.
The first step in installing a geothermal heat pump is evaluating the site. Even in Michigan, where outdoor temperatures often plunge, the ground temperature remains at a constant temperature suitable for a heat pump. However, the installer will also measure other site characteristics. They’ll identify landscaping, underground components like sprinkler systems, electrical wires and other utilities to determine where to place the unit without disturbing existing features. They’ll also evaluate the geology—soil and rock—of the site to determine the best type of installation. Surface water availability can also determine the type of ground loop to use.
A geothermal heat pump is installed by excavating the ground to bury the piping. The closed loop system is most often used. It's made of high density polyethylene pipe that's filled with an antifreeze solution. Horizontal installations are typically buried at 4 to 6 feet deep, while vertical installations are buried up to 400 feet deep. Vertical installations are used when there's not much usable ground to work with because of soil conditions or existing landscape, hardscape or buildings. Open loop systems take advantage of a nearby water source, with loops placed under the water's surface several feet.
Like other HVAC systems, a heat pump connects to your home’s ducts to distribute hot or cold air. Existing ducts can usually be used, but should be checked carefully for proper sizing, leaks and seal damage.
Geothermal heat pump installation is a complicated undertaking that must be done by a qualified installer like Mast Heating and Cooling. Contact us today to find out if your site's a good location for a geothermal heat pump.
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