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measuring geothermal heat pump efficiency

Measuring Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency


Measuring geothermal heat pump efficiency is easy for industry veterans, but most homeowners don’t fit that description. When you aren’t versed in the latest industry jargon it can be difficult to figure out where or how one system might outperform another. Like any other specialized industry with decades of history, the geothermal HVAC business has its own specific terms and phrases that can be downright confusing.


If you’re interested in your installing your own  geothermal heat pump system, it pays to learn some of this nomenclature.


Measuring Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency is All About Terminology


Energy efficiency ratio (EER) is the most important term you need to know when it comes to geothermal heat pumps. EER describes roughly how efficiently a geothermal heat pump is going to operate during a typical cooling season.


When it comes to EER, higher is always better.


If you want to get a read on how efficient a geothermal heat pump is compared to a traditional air conditioner, compare geothermal EER to air-source season energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Like EER, a high SEER rating is always better than a low one, but even a medium range EER rating outperforms a high SEER rating.


In other words, a 13 EER-rated geothermal heat pump is more efficient than an equivalent or higher rated air-source heat pump.


The other main keyword you want to remember for measuring geothermal heat pump efficiency is coefficient of performance (COP). Gas furnaces, electric heaters, geothermal heat pumps, and other heating systems use COP to rate energy efficiency during heating applications.



Like EER, a higher COP is better than a lower one. The higher it is, the more you save during those cold winter months.


In short, the best way to ensure you get the efficiency you want from a geothermal heat pump is to choose a system with high EER and COP ratings. The higher those two ratings, the more money you’ll save over the long term.


geothermal heat pump financial benefits

Geothermal Heat Pump Financial Benefits


Are you interested in geothermal heat pump financial benefits?


Hold on. Let’s start over. If you don’t want to save money, raise your hand. Okay, no one. Now that we’ve got that settled, we can move on.


Geothermal Heat Pump Financial Benefits & You!


Let’s start with a simple question: How many times do you pay for an HVAC system? If you said, “Once,” you’re wrong.


You probably think about HVAC in terms of the money you spent to buy the system. But! You don’t pay once for heating and air – you pay many times. Yes, you have to pay for the initial purchase and installation, but then you’ll pay again every single month.


I’m not talking about any hidden fees; I’m talking about your utility bill.


Air cooling is a very energy intensive process. Which is why you shouldn’t think of your HVAC system in terms of a single, up-front cost. Every month you have to buy energy to keep your unit running should be factored into your budget.


What To Do About It


So what can you do? There are some basic things that will help you manage expenses.


1. Keep your filters clean. Not only will this help your unit maintain peak efficiency, but it will prevent mechanical breakdown.


2. Insulate, insulate, insulate. Conditioned air escaping the building means your unit works harder than it should.


3. Not going to be home for a while? Set the cooling point on a higher temperature.


4. Take advantage of monumental geothermal heat pump financial benefits.


Cut Your Expenses


Geothermal heat pumps are among the most energy efficient HVAC systems ever developed. They rely on buried heat to maintain unparalleled operating efficiency every day of the year.


Which is great, but how does that capability translate into raw geothermal heat pump financial benefits?


Most geothermal heat pump owners see their utility costs drop after they make the switch. Some reduce their expenses by as much as 70% – that’s a lot. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates most new geothermal heat pump pay off their installation costs in 5-10 years from utility savings alone. That’s not even counting all the incentive and grant programs geothermal heat pump owners can claim when they make use of renewable energy technology.


So…who wants to save money?


geothermal heat pump technology matters

Geothermal Heat Pump Technology Matters


Do you think geothermal heat pump technology matters?


Let’s be real. If you’re an average American (i.e. – not in the HVAC business), you probably never thought much about geothermal heat pumps. Most people don’t spend a lot of hard time thinking about the ups and downs of this or that HVAC industry innovation.


It’s hard to blame them. Heating and air isn’t the most user-friendly field. There aren’t a lot of stylish, sexy things to get excited about or post to Pinterest.


We’re trying to change that, but, for now, baby steps.


How Geothermal Heat Pump Technology Matters & Why

International oil prices are low, the fracking industry promises U.S. energy independence for the first time since the end of World War 2,  and vast North American natural gas reserves remain untapped. Surely, low cost energy is here to stay.




Despite recent developments, world demand for energy continues growing. As demand increases and supply diminishes, market forces will push prices higher and higher. U.S. energy companies will export their product when the price is right.


And the price will definitely be right.


The only practical solution is superior energy efficiency – getting more from less. There’s good news on this front. While American energy demand has risen steadily decade after decade our efficient use of energy has increased. We spend less on energy today in per dollar of GDP than we did in 1970.


However, more will need to be done, but what does that have to do with whether or not geothermal heat pump technology matters?


Geothermal Heat Pumps

There are a lot of ways we can increase American domestic energy intensity. In our opinion, one of the best is with geothermal heat pump technology.


Virtually every household in the country relies on modern heating and cooling. Most use a conventional air conditioner or air-source heat pump for summer relief, then switch to a gas furnace or boiler when winter temperatures drop. Geothermal heat pumps can both heat and cool, and they can do so very energy efficiently.


A geothermal heat pump relies on heat buried within the Earth’s crust to boost operating energy efficiency. It draws heat from this source to provide warmth in winter, then draws heat from your home in summer and deposits it back underground. The subterranean environment varies very little no matter how hot or cold it is, so a geothermal heat pump can operate at a high efficiency every single day of the year.


It is said that you can be sure of two things: death and taxes. You can also be sure that energy costs will increase alongside increasing global energy consumption. Geothermal heat pumps are a great way to improve American energy intensity, save money, and still enjoy great home air comfort.


And that is exactly why geothermal heat pump technology matters.