I live in an area that experiences hot summers and freezing cold winters with high winds and low humidity. Investing into whole-home heating, cooling and humidification are essential to comfort. When we built our house, my husband and I looked into all different types of temperature control systems. We considered the standard air conditioner and forced air furnace but weren’t happy with the drawbacks of a duct system. Ductwork requires a lot of maintenance and tends to allow a great deal of energy to escape. It can also introduce air contaminants. We really liked the sound of a boiler because hydronic heating is clean and doesn’t overly dry out the air. Unfortunately, boilers only accommodate heating.
There’s no way to incorporate a cooling system. We then started looking into the different types of heat pumps on the market. A more conventional air-source heat pump struggles to keep up with demand once the outside temperature drops below freezing. It simply can’t find enough ambient heat to maintain a perfectly warm home. However, a geothermal heat pump has access to the heat stored in the ground. It makes use of the stable underground temperature and a free and renewable energy source. Geothermal heat pumps achieve upwards of 400% efficiency ratings, provide both heating and cooling, and are effective at humidity control. While purchasing and installing a geothermal heat pump was a lot more expensive than a more traditional option, it has been worth it. The savings on our monthly utility bills has recovered the cost in a little over three years.
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