Ground Source Heat Pump: A Complete Guide!

A ground-source heat pump may be the perfect option if you’re looking for an energy-efficient solution to heat your home. GSHPs are becoming increasingly popular in residential and commercial settings due to their many benefits. This blog post will explore a ground source heat pump, how it works, and why it is a great way to save money on your energy bills!

What is a Ground Source Heat Pump?

A ground source heat pump, or GSHP, is a heating and cooling system that uses the earth as a heat source or sink. They are also sometimes called geothermal heat pumps or simply geo-exchange systems. GSHPs use the shallow ground or groundwater near the earth’s surface to provide heating and cooling for a home or building.

GSHPs are very efficient and can save up to 70% on heating and cooling costs compared to traditional systems. They are also environmentally friendly, as they do not release any emissions into the atmosphere. GSHPs can be used in all climates but are most effective in areas with moderate temperatures.

There are two main types of GSHPs: closed loop and open loop. Closed loop systems have a network of underground pipes that circulate a water/antifreeze mixture through the ground. The heat from the earth warms the fluid in the pipes, which is then pumped into the house or building to heat it. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the warm air inside the building is used to cool the fluid in the pipes before circulating underground.

Open loop systems use groundwater directly from an underground well as the heat source or sink. The water is pumped through a heat exchanger inside the house or building, where it either transfers its heat to or absorbs heat from the indoor air, depending on whether it is used for heating or cooling.

ground source heat pump yard
Kensa Heat Pumps

How Does a Ground Source Heat Pump Work?

As its name suggests, a ground source heat pump (GSHP) uses the ground as its heat source. A GSHP system contains a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, buried in the ground. Fluids circulate through this loop, transferring heat from the ground to the heat pump.

The heat pump transfers this heat to your home or business via an air delivery system. In winter, the process is reversed, and the heat pump extracts warmth from the air and transfers it to the ground loop. This cycle continues as long as there is a temperature difference between the air and the ground. GSHPs typically consist of four main elements:

1. Ground loop is a buried network of piping through which water or an antifreeze solution circulates.

2. Heat pump unit inside the building contains the compressor, evaporator, and condenser coils.

3. Desuperheater is regularly used to preheat domestic hot water in some systems.

4. Controller regulates the system’s operation based on thermostat settings and inputs from temperature sensors.

The Benefits

There are many benefits to using a ground source heat pump (GSHP) instead of a traditional heating and cooling system. GSHPs are more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective than other HVAC systems.

GSHPs are more efficient than traditional HVAC systems because they use the earth’s natural heat to warm your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. This means that GSHPs use less energy overall, which saves you money on your energy bills.

GSHPs are more sustainable than traditional HVAC systems because they don’t rely on fossil fuels. This reduces your carbon footprint and helps to slow down climate change.

Finally, GSHPs are more cost-effective than traditional HVAC systems because they last longer and require less maintenance. You’ll save money in the long run by investing in a GSHP.

what is geothermal home benefits
Photo by Joe Parsons

The Drawbacks

1. High initial cost: Ground source heat pumps can be expensive to install, with the price of a typical system running into tens of thousands of dollars. This high initial investment may not be suitable for everyone and could take many years to recoup through savings on energy bills.

2. Limited geographical suitability: Ground source heat pumps are only suitable for certain terrain and soil conditions. In some cases, installing a system may not be possible due to these limitations.

3. Maintenance requirements: Ground source heat pumps require regular maintenance to function correctly and achieve optimum efficiency. This can add to the overall cost of ownership over time.

4. Potential impact on property value: While ground source heat pumps can add value to a property, in some cases, they have been known to reduce resale value due to their limited geographical suitability and high initial cost.

How to Choose the Right Ground Source Heat Pump

If you are considering a ground source heat pump (GSHP) for your home, there are several factors to consider in order to choose the right system. The first step is to determine your home’s heating and cooling needs and calculate the appropriate size GSHP unit. Next, you must decide whether you want a horizontal or vertical GSHP system. Finally, you will need to select a reputable installer with experience installing GSHPs.

When determining the heating and cooling needs of your home, it is important to consider the climate in your area and your home’s insulation. A qualified HVAC contractor can help you determine the appropriate size GSHP unit for your home. Once you have determined the size of GSHP needed, you can decide whether a horizontal or vertical system is suitable for your home.

Horizontal GSHPs are best suited for homes with large lot sizes, while vertical GSHPs are more appropriate for smaller lots or homes with limited outdoor space. If you cannot decide between a horizontal or vertical system, it is essential to consult with a qualified installer who can assess your specific needs and make a recommendation.

Once you have decided on the type of GSHP system that is right for your home, selecting a reputable installer with experience installing this type of system is essential. Be sure to get multiple bids from different contractors and ask each one about their experience installing GSHPs.

It is also important to ask the contractors about their maintenance plans and training programs to ensure the system is installed correctly and runs accurately. Lastly, make sure to read through the warranties of each contractor carefully before making a decision. By taking these steps, you can be sure that your GSHP installation will be a success!

Inco Gnito Heatco


Ground source heat pumps are an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution for heating your home. As technology improves and costs become even more competitive, ground-source heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon emissions while staying comfortable during those cold winter months.

Also read: 5 Easy Steps To Install Solar Panels

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