A geothermal heat pump is an inexpensive, renewable way of heating and cooling your home by using energy from the ground. However, before you invest in a geothermal system, it's important to get the correct size for your space. Otherwise, you could end up wasting energy instead of saving it. Let's look at why sizing a geothermal heat pump is so important, and how to do it properly.
How a Geothermal System Works
No matter what the weather is like outside, the temperature about 10 feet underground is a constant 50 to 60 degrees. A geothermal system buries a loop of pipe beneath the ground, then circulates liquid through it to absorb that heat energy and bring it into the home. During the summer, a geothermal heat pump extracts heat energy from indoor air and uses the ground as a heat-sink to dispose of the unwanted heat. The cool air is the result of this heat extraction.
Problems With Improper Sizing
If you size your system too small, it won't have the capacity to heat or cool the air as it should. It has to work harder to do the job properly, using extra electricity and putting undue stress on system components, which can cause unnecessary damage and ultimately shorten system life.Sizing a geothermal heat pump too large causes problems as well. A system that's too big will cycle on and off too frequently, which also causes damage and uses excess electricity. It also creates a disparity in temperature from one area to the next and can fail to dehumidify the space, making things wet and clammy.
So what size should your geothermal system be? It depends on the size of your home, as well as climate, soil type and other factors. Talk to a professional HVAC contractor, who can measure these factors and make sure your geothermal system and piping loop are the proper size for your home.
For help sizing a geothermal heat pump for your home, contact us at Air Assurance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “John T Takai/Shutterstock”