Geothermal Vs. Traditional HVAC

Geothermal Compared to Traditional Heating and Cooling Systems

You may be already familiar with geothermal systems and how they work. (If not, check out our page on how geothermal works.)

But how does geothermal directly compare with more traditional methods of home heating and cooling?

Let’s compare a high-efficiency gas furnace to a geothermal system for heating your home. A high-efficiency gas furnace will give you less than .96 units of heat for each unit of gas burned. In contrast, a geothermal system gives you up to 5 units of heat for each unit of electricity used.

How can that be? A furnace makes heat by burning fossil. A geothermal system doesn’t make it’s own heat; it simply collects heat from the earth and moves it to your home.

The results can be a big difference in your monthly home heating bills. In terms of dollars on a yearly energy bill, take a look at the table below to see how geothermal heating compares to heating with fossil fuels.

Lower energy bills chart

But what about cooling your home? Let’s compare a geothermal heating and cooling system to an air-source heat pump system for cooling. When it’s hot outside, an air-source heat pump takes heat from your home and moves to the outside air.

As the outside air becomes warmer in summer, it becomes harder for the system to dump heat from your home into the already hot outside air. Because of this, when cooling a home with an air-source heat pump, the system becomes least efficient when it needs to be most efficient.

A geothermal heat pump system doesn’t have this problem. A geothermal system exchanges the heat in your home with the cooler ground using it’s underground loop system. It simply doesn’t have to deal with high outside air temperatures the way that an air-source heat pump does.

Add to that the fact that a geothermal system can be installed safely inside your home, with a loop buried underground. Unlike an air-source heat pump, there is no outdoor equipment exposed to the elements or the risk of vandalism.

Interested in seeing how much geothermal can save you on your energy bills? Use our easy geothermal calculator:


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