Ground source energy systems or geothermal heat pumps serve as an HVAC system for residential and commercial applications. It is used to heat them up in winter and cool them down in summer. With a million existing installations worldwide and several thousand installations a year throughout North America, Earth energy systems are efficient HVAC systems because of their operating principles and unique design. However, these systems have certain requirements that must be met for them to be truly efficient.
Ground source Energy systems are efficient HVAC systems based on their operating principles. First of all, earth energy systems or ground source heat pumps have heat exchangers filled with refrigerant that allows them to draw and dissipate heat. The refrigerant exchanges heat with water drawn up from a well in an open loop system or from coils of underground pipes in closed loop systems. Next, the refrigerant mixture goes through the heat pump in the house. When the refrigerant in the heat pump boils to become a vapor, the reversing valve takes the vapor to the condensor. Later on, the condensor compresses the vapor causing it to heat up. During the process, the reversing valve takes the hot gas to the condensor coil or duct system. Finally, the air passes across the coil to heat the entire property. This process can either heat up one room or all the rooms in residential or commercial properties simultaneously without the need for a mechanical room. As a result, Earth Energy systems are efficient HVAC systems based on their operating principles.
Earth energy systems are also efficient systems because of their unique design. In contrast, with regular combustion furnaces, geothermal heat pumps can be used with both hydronic heating system and forced air system. Also, these systems can be designed to install either heating only, heating with active cooling or heating with passive cooling. Although, heating systems don’t cool the surroundings, passive cooling systems provide cooling by pumping water without using a heat pump. Unlike regular combustion furnaces, water from a house water heater can be pumped through the condensor in earth energy systems which is used to heat water. While some require the heat pump to be at a balanced point and not at a full working capacity, others provide hot water on demand as the entire machine switches to provide domestic hot water on demand. Also, Earth Energy system’s output is relatively constant so they can be designed to meet almost all space heating requirements. Additionally, Earth energy systems are available for all sorts of extreme climates, whereas combustion furnaces and other HVAC systems only suit certain weather conditions. Though running a heat pump will use less fuel or gas, it will use more electricity compared to other combustion furnaces. Nevertheless, these electricity costs can be overlooked if one considers using alternative sources of energy like solar panels and roof top wind mills to existing main grid electricity to lower electricity bills along with several other benefits especially in commercial and industrial applications. The unique design of Earth Energy systems can provide savings in heating and cooling costs as well as domestic hot water costs. More significantly, Earth Energy systems can be installed to existing HVAC systems and come with warranties of 20-25 years at the least which make it an efficient and reliable option compared to other HVAC systems.
With all the benefits of the design and its operating principle, there are installation and maintenance requirements that must be matched when it comes to Earth Energy systems. All earth energy systems must be installed by qualified contractors and match the standards set by standards association as well as follow manufacturer’s instructions. Also, this unit must be inspected once a year by a licensed contractor. Filter and coil in the compressor must be maintained at all times as they reduce air flow and cause compressor damage. The fan must be cleaned once in a while and must be checked for incorrect pulley settings as loose fan can affect motor speed and overall performance. Moreover, ductwork should be inspected and cleaned. One must make sure that vents and registers are not blocked. Also, heat pump should be cleaned by a qualified contractor as mineral deposits can accumulate over time. And, in severe weather conditions, supplementary heating systems should be considered. Hence, by meeting the installation requirements and maintenance of Earth Energy systems, one can enjoy efficiency and reliability of these systems in residential, commercial as well as industrial applications.
In conclusion, Earth energy systems are efficient HVAC systems because of their operating principles, unique design and when their maintenance requirements are met by a qualified contractor. These systems though expensive to install compared with other HVAC systems, cover their initial costs in operating costs over five to ten years. And the best part is they can work alongside regular furnaces as split-air systems.
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