Or is that a match made of the good of the Earth?
As much as we love the idea of matching up with geo-thermal, we currently do not have the high flow rate geo-thermal heat pumps require at this time.
Have you ever wanted to use the heat of the earth to heat your house? Yes, even in the coldest winter by the time you dig 30 feet down, the earth stays a pretty constant 50 degrees or so. If you run a hose with water down there, it can warm up a few degrees that you can “Steal”. The few degrees can multiply until it warms up water passing through a heat exchanger to about 90 degrees. This water is then the perfect temperature to heat your cement floors through the HUG Hydronics in-floor heating system.
Geothermal heat pumps are most efficient when they create warm water just about the perfect temp for running through pex pipes in the concrete (about 90 degrees. For showering or washing dishes you may need to add another 10-20 degrees.)
Heat pumps are measured in tons, each ton being worth about 12,000 BTUs. So a 2 ton heat pump is worth 24,000 BTUs. (Most new houses need about 22 BTUs per sq ft). The nice thing is that it takes only about 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity to make/get this heat, thus making geothermal heat pumps very earth and pocketbook friendly. The HUG Hydronics system paired with a Geothermal heat pump is 50-65% more efficient than a traditional forced-air gas furnace.
Of course, the drawback can be the initial cost of Geothermal set up. If you are in the wet country, you could just use your ground water, which you steal the heat from and dump back out, sometimes down a well, or just out into a drain field. But another way involves a closed loop system where you bury lots of pipes, you later fill with water, which heats up as you go through the earth, and then you steal the heat by a heat exchanger, and send the water back down to warm up again. Sometimes these setups can run upwards of $20,000. The money involved in setup will easily be made back during the lifetime of the building through the saved energy costs, with most payback periods being 7-8 years, while the system can easily last 50 years or more. Which ends up also saving you peace of mind when energy costs inevitably go up. (Unless we manage to divest from fossil fuels and turn to renewables, in which case energy costs would stabilize and even go down, but turning to ground source heat pumps would one step in this).
Here are 4 simple reasons the HUG Hydronics in-floor heating system is easy to integrate with Geothermal heat pumps:
- Built in buffer tank
- System requires no pressure
- Radiant design installs with basic tools
- Allows for a simple back-up heat source