Geothermal Installation heat pumps operate on the same principle as standard air-source heat pumps, in that they use refrigerant circulation to move heat from one location to another. Heat is pushed out of the house by the heat pump in hot weather. It reverses direction in cold weather and pushes heat into the house.
The medium used for heat transfer outside the house distinguishes air-source heat pumps from geothermal Installation (or “ground-source”) heat pumps. The geothermal Installation system uses the ground at least six feet below the frost line, while the air-source heat pump draws or releases heat into the air.
Extreme Cold Geothermal Installation Systems Work Well
This is the first thing to know in order to answer this question because it is a common misconception that geothermal Installation heat pumps lose efficiency during freezing weather. People frequently believe this because standard heat pumps can lose efficiency in extreme cold. It’s natural to believe that geothermal Installation heat pumps will have the same issue.
However, this is not the case. One of the most significant advantages of using geothermal Installation energy to heat a home is that a heat pump always has enough heat available in the ground. Because it is attempting to extract heat from cold outdoor air, an air-source heat pump struggles in temperatures below freezing.
Backups are available for geothermal Installation heat pumps, but not in the way you might think.
The popular hybrid or dual fuel heat pumps inspired the concept of a “backup” heater for a heat pump. These are heat pumps that have been combined with a secondary heater, typically a propane furnace, which kicks on to make up the heat deficit when the heat pump loses efficiency due to cold temperatures. They are useful for homes that would not otherwise be able to benefit from the benefits of a heat pump. Hybrid geothermal heat pumps are not required. Because the heat pump always has enough outside heat to use, there is no need for a secondary heater, such as a propane furnace, to turn on and assist with heating.