Home | Français | Russian

Choosing Your Geothermal Heat Pump

Selecting a Heat Pump

During the last several years it has become much more common for homeowners to choose a heat pump as the prime heating unit for their homes. Much information is available to the customers to aid them in their decision to choose a heat pump however; information is scarce as to the differences between air source and water /ground -source heat pumps.


Air source heat pumps are pretty much limited to mild climates with outside temperatures never going below 30F (-1C). Their efficiency diminishes as the outside air cools. Also, since part of the equipment is of necessity outdoors, it is subject to weathering, increasing maintenance costs.


Unlike air-source, the Water / Ground-source heat pumps are very efficient where heating and cooling requirements are about equal. A meter or two below the surface, the ground is about the same temperature as the average air temperature in your area. In the prairies, that’s about 5-6°C. In southern Ontario it’s about 10°C, and on the East or West coast, about 11-12°C. The temperatures of earth and ground water are almost constant, so the efficiency of water /ground-source heat pumps is likewise stable. Since no outdoor component is needed, weather-related maintenance is less.


The Water / Ground source heat pump produce warm air that’s circulated trough standard ductwork in your home, or make warm water for a floor heating system. And by reversing the system to take heat from your home and transfer it to the ground, your home air-conditioned during the hot summer.


Industry also uses other terms to describe water / ground heat pumps, Geothermal Heat Pumps. Every unit of electricity used to run a geothermal heat pump transfers three to four units of energy to your home. It’s free, it’s renewable and it’s clean. By installing a geothermal heat pump, you are literally investing your money in an energy “well”. After it’s installed, about two thirds of the energy needed to heat your home and make hot water is taking directly from the ground around your home, reducing your home heating cost by 35-75 percent.


The value of your investment increases every time cost of the natural gas, oil, propane or electricity climbs.  And you can feel good about your investment because it’s helping reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are contributing to climate change.