What Are Geothermal Heat Pumps?

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) are an eco-friendly way to control the climate in a home, but the technology isn’t universally well-known.

From how they work to how much they cost, here’s what builders need to know about geothermal heat pumps. Once you know more you can get to work deciding whether or not to include them in your builds.

Explaining Geothermal Heating and Cooling

GHPs use the earth’s constant temperature as the exchange medium for heating and cooling, as opposed to the outside air temperature. Despite temperature extremes, the earth’s internal temperature a few feet below the ground remains mostly constant.

These ground temperatures generally range from 45° to 75° Fahrenheit. The temps are warmer than the air above during winter and cooler during the summer, which is why a GHP can effectively exchange heat through a ground heat exchanger to control a home’s climate.

The system also goes by other names, like GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps.

How Much Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Cost?

The purchase and installation of a geothermal heat pump and air conditioning system will vary widely. Based on data gathered by HomeAdvisor.com, the average cost to install a geothermal heating or cooling system is between about $2,200 and $4,400.

HomeAdvisor also reports that the average GHP will pay for itself in two to 10 years. If you’re looking for ways to drive business by helping homeowners out with their carbon footprints and utility bills, this is one great way to do that. According to ENERGY STAR, GHPs are more than 45% efficient than standard heating and cooling systems.

If you’re considering installing GHPs in your builds you should check for rebates, loan programs, and other forms of financial assistance. Due to the eco-friendliness of these systems there are often a variety of programs from manufacturers, the federal government, and even from local and state governments.

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Should I Install GHPs in New Home Builds?

As you may have guessed, there’s no definitive answer to whether geothermal heat pumps will work for you and your residential construction business. You’ll have to ask yourself key questions, like:

  • Is my market willing to pay more for eco-friendly features?
  • Will my potential clients understand GHPs, or will they be confused?
  • Do I know qualified contractors who have the skills and experience needed to install GHPs?
  • Can I afford the higher upfront cost?

There’s no denying the benefits of GHPs, you just have to make sure that they’re the right choice for your construction business.

You Build it, We'll back you up.

Learn why 1 in 5 new homes nationwide are covered by a 2-10 HBW Structural Warranty.