According to the EPA, a geothermal heating and cooling system can reduce energy consumption and corresponding emissions by more than 40 percent compared to an air-source heat pump, and by more than 70 percent compared to standard heating and cooling equipment. A geothermal system is better than central air. According to Mid State Air and Heat, central air works the same way as a heat pump or HVAC system, except that it can only cool the air and not heat it. Therefore, a geothermal system is superior to central air because it can heat and cool your home.
Considering the factors set out above, geothermal heat pumps are the best option for homeowners who can afford it. For those who are short on money and space, air-source heat pumps are the most cost-effective option. Since geothermal energy does not require the use of an outdoor heat exchanger and the main unit is located indoors, it is protected from the elements and has a 92% longer lifespan than traditional systems. In the US, air source devices can achieve heating efficiency levels of 300%, while geothermal pumps can achieve values of up to 400-500%.
Geothermal heating can get as hot as room temperature, which is about 23°C (75°F), according to the United States Office of Energy Efficiency (& Renewable Energy). Installing a geothermal heat pump takes longer because you have to dig into the ground, add the tubes and rebury it, in addition to the time it takes to install the unit. In the eternal battle between geothermal devices and air-source heat pumps, it can be difficult to determine which system is superior. Over time, they discovered that the VRF solution consumed twice as much energy as their geothermal heat pumps.
Each structure has a heating and cooling load, which is the amount of heating or cooling needed to maintain the space at the temperatures preferred by the occupant. This heat transfer is what makes heat pumps as efficient and cost-effective as home comfort equipment. As can be seen in the following graph, in all but the first month, the geothermal system addressed its heating and cooling load with much lower energy consumption per square foot compared to the installed VRF system. However, a ground-based heat pump is more energy efficient and lasts longer than an air-source heat pump or HVAC system.
If you've been looking for an alternative way to heat and cool your home, you've probably heard of heat pumps. The installation process and space requirements often make air-source heat pumps a more suitable heating and cooling solution for urban properties without yard space. In a two-year study conducted at the headquarters of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers), the group compared a ground-based (geothermal) heat pump system with a comparable variable coolant flow (air-to-air) system, each of which worked to heat and cool two floors separated by 31,000 square meters. In the warmer months, throwing heat energy onto a relatively colder floor is, once again, much easier than trying to throw that excess heat into the surrounding air of 85°F and 91% humidity.