More homeowners are installing ground source heating systems. Here’s what you need to know before you making the switch
What is ground source heating and how does it work?
Ground source heating takes advantage of the relatively stable temperatures of the earth’s surface to transfer heating and cooling to your home using fluid circulated through long loops of underground pipe beneath your home.
While an electric air-source heating system may use a lot of energy to warm frigid air in the winter to warm your home, ground source heating has to do much less work because depending on latitude, ground temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C). That could mean big savings on heating and cooling costs.
Why should I consider it?
Like we hinted at before, you can save a lot in heating and cooling costs by converting to a ground source system.
Ground source heat pumps use much less energy — up to 44% compared with air-source heat pumps and up to 72% compared with electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment, according to the Department of Energy.
Vertical vs. horizontal systems: Which is best?
Ground source systems either follow a horizontal or vertical layout. A lot of this depends on the amount of land you have to work with.
Homeowners with limited yard space often opt for a vertical system because they simply don’t have the space to accommodate for a horizontal system. That being said, horizontal systems are generally cheaper because of the cost of digging deeper trenches for a vertical system.
What does it cost? Are there incentives?
Costs will vary depending on your provider, your soil conditions and what part of the country you’re in. To give you an idea of general costs however, a set-up for a 2,000-square-foot home could cost as much as $20,000 to install.
There a range of incentives available, depending on where you live.
Can I install a ground-source system anywhere in the country?
Yes! Ground source can be installed pretty much anywhere in the country! Ground temperatures are relatively stable and warm enough beneath the surface where the ground loop system and heat pump will be installed.
However, the most popular states for ground-source heating systems are California, Nevada, and Utah.
Interested in learning more about installing a ground-source heat system?
Check out our interview with Conor, a homeowner in Kansas City who recently installed a ground source heating system at his home.
Conor already had a solar installation on his home. Combine that with his new ground-source heating system and he is paying next to nothing in electricity costs.