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3 Reasons to Install a Geothermal Heat Pump

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3 Reasons to Install a Geothermal Heat Pump

Fluctuations in oil and gas prices make it difficult to predict the cost of your energy bill each month. For some, dealing with the fluctuations just isn’t worth it, and alternative energy sources make more sense. Solar energy helps stabilize the electric bill, but there’s nothing for gas. Or is there?

Geothermal heating draws upon the steady temperatures found at a specific depth in the earth. The technology to reach these depths is fairly straightforward. It’s how the air is brought into the home that is more advanced. While it’s cost-heavy to install geothermal, it pays for itself over time and keeps the home comfortable without relying on fossil fuels.

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What is a Geothermal Heat Pump?

Waterkotte heat pump

    Image via Flickr by Bryn Pinzgauer

    A geothermal heat pump works by circulating an antifreeze solution through pipes buried in the ground, then drawn into the home for cooling and heating. Geothermal heat uses pipes installed at a specific depth which are then connected to one another and the heat pump itself. There are a number of configurations available for a geothermal system and all are designed to work in different square footages.

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    The basic idea of a geothermal heat pump is attaching the existing HVAC ducting to tubing or pipes buried in the ground. Liquid in the pipes draws heat out in the summer as it flows in one direction, and is reversed to draw heat in during the winter.

    The Latest in Heat Pump Technology

    Absorption pumps are the latest advancement in heat pump technology. They use an external heat source that includes solar, propane, or geothermal-heated water. An absorption pump uses an ammonia-water mixture to heat and cool. The ammonia gets condensed in a coil to release the heat, reducing the pressure and evaporating to absorb or release heat from the home.

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    The concept is one of simple physics. When the pump is set to condense, the ammonia flowing through the system releases the heat evenly throughout the home. If it’s set to absorb, the fluid cools down the home. And even though the absorption pump system uses an external heat source, it’s a relatively minor amount and the cost is negligible.

    Why Install a Geothermal Heat Pump?

    Not only do they save you money, they also run quietly. You’ll never know the pump is working because there is no noisy fan to distribute the air into the home. Savings on energy costs is another factor to consider even though the up-front cost of installation is expensive. Burying pipes requires the use of heavy machinery to dig down deep enough for the circulating fluid to reach optimal temps. But once it’s finished and installed, the geothermal heat pump requires far less maintenance and causes the fossil fuel bills to drop precipitously.

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    Long-Term Energy Savings

    Geothermal heating is much more efficient at delivering stable temperatures than electric energy. The amount of electricity required to run the heat pump is one-sixth that of an electric furnace, and up to one-half the cost of running an air conditioning unit. More savings are realized when using the heat pump to heat up the hot water tank through the use of a desuperheater. The desuperheater captures the small amount of heat loss from the pump and sends it to the hot water tank. No more constant running of the heating element to create hot water on demand.

    Geothermal heat pumps work in a variety of climates but work best where the temperatures don’t fluctuate much throughout the year. They do save money over the long run and need fewer working parts that eventually need repair, making it a sensible choice for keeping a home comfortable.

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    Featured photo credit: Image via Flickr by Bryn Pinzgauer via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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