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Thinking about installing a geothermal heat pump?

Posted on: September 3, 2013

Find Out Whether Installing One Is Right for You

Geothermal heat pumps are some of the most efficient and environmentally conscious heating and cooling products on the market today, but installing them isn’t cheap! So how do you know if it’s a good idea for you to install a geothermal heat pump for your home? At James A. Wheat & Sons, we have the answers to all of your questions about installing one of the most energy-efficient HVAC products on the market.

Schedule a consultation today to find out if installing a geothermal heat pump in Gaithersburg, Germantown, or the surrounding Montgomery County, MD areas is right for you—give us a call at 240-399-5051240-399-5051!

The Economics of Installing a Geothermal Heat Pump

Geothermal heat pumps have a high initial investment, but they can save you money in operating and maintenance costs for years to come. In addition to huge utility savings each month, your geothermal heat pump can be fitted with a device called a “desuperheater.” This device will enable your geothermal heat pump to heat water as well, providing hot water for free in the summer and for about half the cost in the winter. Energy savings with a geothermal heat pump are so great that most people see payback periods of five to six years—pretty impressive when you consider a geothermal heat pump will last around 50 years.

In addition to energy savings, many areas offer discounts, rebates, and tax breaks on the installation of new geothermal heat pumps. Contact us today to learn more about the rebates that are currently available in our area.

Can You Install a Geothermal Heat Pump on Your Property?

Shallow ground temperature is relatively consistent throughout the United States, meaning that a geothermal heat pump can be used almost anywhere. That said, there are a number of considerations to be made when choosing a system, including:

Geology – the most important thing to consider when installing your new geothermal heat pump is the composition and properties of your soil and rock, as these can affect heat transfer rates. Soil with good heat transfer properties will require less piping than soil with good heat transfer properties. Your soil composition will also determine what kind of loop you should install—if your soil is too rocky and shallow to trench, a vertical loop may be installed as opposed to a horizontal loop.

Hydrology – water availability, both ground and surface, is also a big factor in determining how your geothermal heat pump will be installed. If possible, surface or ground water bodies can be used to install an open-loop system (which pumps in new water instead of having a constant supply). Before you install an open-loop system, check to make sure you have a large enough water source and that the water quality is suitable.

Land Amount – the amount and layout of your land and the location of your underground utilities also affects your geothermal heat pump design. Horizontal ground loops, which are generally easier to install, work best with new construction or with sufficient land space. Vertical loop systems or horizontal “Slinky” installations are usually installed on existing property because they minimize land disturbance.

Schedule a Consultation for Your Geothermal Heat Pump

Installing a geothermal heat pump requires in-depth technical knowledge and heavy-duty equipment and should not be attempted by anyone other than a professional. Ground loop geothermal heat pump systems are made with high-density polyethylene pipe that is buried 4 – 6 feet deep (for horizontal closed loop) or 100 – 400 feet deep (vertical closed loop). The piping is filled with an environmentally friendly water/refrigerant solution which acts as the heat exchanger. The air delivery ductwork operates the same way that it does in a conventional system.

If you think you are ready to install a geothermal heat pump in Gaithersburg, call James A. Wheat & Sons today. Our certified and trained technicians can evaluate your property and help you make the best decision for your investment. Contact us to schedule your consultation!