A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a central heating or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. In the winter, the ground functions as a heat source, while in the summer it serves as a heat sink. In order to boost heating and cooling systems’ efficiency and reduce operating costs, the design utilizes the ground’s moderate temperature and can also be combined with solar heating to further increase efficiency. Geosolar systems, a combination of ground temperate moderation and solar heating power, are some of the most efficient home heating and cooling systems. Geothermal heat pumps, or geoexchanges, harvest the sun’s geothermal power and heat to provide warmth in the winter, and work against it to cool your home in the summer.
Similar to an air conditioner, these systems use a heat pump to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space, or vice versa. A heat pump is capable of reversing the heat against the natural flow direction or enhancing the natural heat flow. Because a heat pump exchanges heat with the ground, which has a relatively stable temperature, it is significantly more efficient than pure electric heaters or air-source heat pumps. Depending on the climate, geothermal systems can be set up for heating, cooling, or both functions.
Although setup costs for geothermal systems are higher than for traditional systems, users typically recoup the cost within the first 10 years of use with an estimated 25 year product lifespan.
Originally concepted and developed in the mid 19th Century, geothermal heat pumps gained popularity throughout the second half of the 20th Century as people realized the energy saving capabilities and designs became more economically viable. Now, they are common place is many residential and commercial buildings. In fact, the first successful commercial project was installed in the Commonwealth Building in Portland, Oregon. Jacobs Heating and Air Conditioning is committed following this Northwest tradition by providing the most efficient and innovative HVAC solutions.