Choosing a geothermal heat pump for new home

When my husband and I bought a piece of property in Birmingham, Alabama, and decided to build a house, we debated on different types of heating and cooling systems.

The local weather necessitates both heating and cooling, making energy efficiency quite important.

We certainly didn’t want to get stuck paying huge utility bills every month, year after year. We were looking for an option that could handle temperatures from the low thirties to the high nineties. Due to excess moisture in the summer, dehumidification capabilities were also a priority. We wanted compact equipment that would operate quietly and reliably and deliver cost-effective longevity. Environmental responsibility was also a focus. We designed our home to minimize our carbon footprint. After a great deal of research and consideration, we decided on a geothermal heat pump. Although the initial investment was significantly higher than any other type of system, the savings on monthly energy bills promised to recover the cost within five years. With the heat pump installed inside the house and protected from the weather, it can be expected to last upwards of twenty years. The underground loop system is warrantied for fifty years but should last twice that long. The excavation to implement the underground loop was a big part of the start up costs. However, there are tax incentives available, and we’re saving about 50% on our heating and cooling bills. The geothermal heat pump also provides virtually free hot water. Having a single unit covering both heating and cooling reduces maintenance needs. We like that operation is wonderfully quiet and clean. There is no worry over greenhouse gasses such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or formaldehyde. The heat pump effectively combats high humidity and manages perfect year-round comfort.


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