Ground Source Heat Pumps and Dandelion Energy
By Grant Brown, Founder, Happy Eco News
Ground source heat pumps are a cost-effective, energy-efficient way to heat and cool your home. They are also known as geo-exchange, ground source and geothermal. These systems extract heat from the ground and use electricity to step up the heat. It can be a good option for homeowners who want to eliminate fossil fuel use, reduce energy costs or replace a traditional heating system.
The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that a ground source heat pump can save more than 70% of the total energy cost of running a typical heating and cooling system. While the upfront costs can be high, they can be offset by federal tax credits, rebates and other incentives.
For example, in New York, homeowners can receive a 25% rebate for installing a ground source heat pump. This incentive program is available for residential homes and small commercial businesses. New US federal incentives can offset up to $3200 of the installation cost of heat pumps through to the year 2032. A long-term plan that will make use of these efficiency-increasing devices more and more affordable.
Moreover, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a ground-source heat pump can save thousands of dollars a year, which gets even better as the cost of fossil fuel energy increases. This is more than the savings from upgrading to a new energy-efficient furnace. Considering that most households are looking to reduce their energy consumption, it’s a good idea to consider this technology.
A ground source heat pump works by pumping water through a loop of underground pipes. The ground temperature is constant and heats the water to this temperature. The temperature increases when it is condensed using electric pumps, and a heat exchanger in the home transfers the heat from the pipes to the air. The reverse is also true – the system can also be used to cool the home, transferring hot air from the house into the ground, and cooling the whole house with minimal energy inputs.
Currently, the market is small. But as more people learn about the benefits and incentives of using this technology, the uptake will increase. Ultimately, electrification will require an all-of-the-above strategy, including air-source, ground-source and mini-split technologies.
One company helping homeowners take advantage of ground-source heat pumps is Dandelion Energy. They started out as part of Google’s X laboratory and have grown into a thriving business. Over the past few years, they’ve installed over 1,000 heat pumps in Westchester County, NY.
Dandelion has developed a new way to install ground source heat pumps. Unlike other methods, their system is a closed loop. This means that it requires less space and is more efficient. Another benefit is that it doesn’t connect to a large infrastructure.
Another advantage of this type of heat pump is that it’s relatively silent. Despite the fact that the process is slow, the heat generated is still noticeable. If you live in a cold climate, this can be a big help.
Ground source heat pumps aren’t cheap but can last for decades. They are a renewable heating/cooling system that does not produce carbon dioxide. Low energy consumption, low cost and low carbon equal big wins for the environment.