In heating cycle, the water from outside passes past a refrigerant filled heat exchanger. Heat transfers into the refigerant and boils to become a vapor. The vapor is then compressed causing it to become even hotter. Then the hot gas passes through the coil, where air is forced through the coil, picking up the heat and distributing it to the living space.
Once again, this process is reversed for cooling.
Not to confuse the issue, but some systems actually use the refrigerant to make a direct heat transfer outside with the ground. The process inside the heat pump is very similar to a split system air conditioner's process.
This process can also provide free hot water during the summer months, by passing the hot water collected during cooling mode through a water-to-water heat exchanger. A heat transfer takes place and the potable hot water is stored in a tank for use. This same process can deliver substantial hot water savings during the winter also.
A ground source heat pump system can be fitted to any residential project, new construction or retrofit, single-family or multi-family. For a retro-fit application, the existing ductwork from your former furnace or air handler can usually be used as the distribution system with minimal alterations.
Many geothermal companies work closely with a conventional heating and air conditioning company for the ability to provide the full package.
Open Loop Water Source Heat Pump Systems
Some residences have access to a pond or lake on their property. This is another good source for heat transfer from the piping system. An open loop water system can provide similar benefits of the closed loop system.
The operation is identical other than the loop piping system is placed directly on the bottom of the pond. The system pumps pull in water for the heating and cooling of the residence and then discharge the water directly back into the pond, into a return well, or into a leech field.
Installation of this type of system may require the approval of your local authorities. Due to the fact that open dispersal of the water back into the environment will mix with ground water, the authorities may wish to verify it’s source and cleanliness. It’s easier to get approved beforehand, than to back-pedal for approvals.
Installation of geothermal, a ground source heat pump, or a water source heat pump is certainly not the most economical route to go for heating and cooling your home, on initial installation. But, the benefits abound. Manufacturers are offering rebates and special financing. Many utility companies offer rebates to help with installation. Both the homeowner and the builder should check into these programs when considering this type of system.
Benefits of a Ground Source Heat Pump
A ground source heat pump does provide savings:
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