One of the cool things about the internet is the amount of information available, mostly for free. But, one of the negatives when it comes to this information is some of it is guesstimates ie; myths, not true, misinformed information, etc. Well, for this specific article we will be talking about geothermal heating and if it works in the winter months. You may have heard all sorts of sides to this question, but this is the most honest answer you will find. So, does geothermal heating work in the wintertime?
Short answer: Yes.
Standard Heat Pumps
One of the reasons why most people might think that something like geothermal heating might not work in the winter is probably because regular standard heat pumps sometimes need additional backup heaters in extreme weather.
But, this isn’t the case with geothermal heating. One thing to remember about these geothermal heat pumps is that even if the outdoor air is cold, the ground is not going to be the same temperature. So say for instance that the outside temperature is around 15 degrees. Well the ground is not also going to be 15 degrees. Instead it will be 45 to 55 degrees!
A geothermal heat pump has about 400% efficiency; it’s one of the reasons so many people use it. But one thing you need to remember is that even though it’s cold outside, your heat in the ground is still there even if the weatherman is calling for snow, high winds, below zero weather conditions, etc. Just because the temperature drops doesn’t mean that your pump won’t have enough heat to keep you warm. Your geothermal heating pump will work just as well, whether its 100 degrees or 10 degrees!
Vertical vs. Horizontal Pipe Loops
There are two different kinds of pipe loop installations. The first one is horizontal. This tends to be the cheaper option, but you also need a lot of room for it in terms of space. The other type of installation is the vertical option, again a little more expensive, but then you don’t have to worry about the lack of space and you can usually get away with having less pipe installed. If you live in a location where you have particularly harsh winters or really cold weather it might be a better option to consider the vertical installation. It will be harder to drill into the ground vs dig a shallow hole like you would with the horizontal option, but the vertical option will go further down into the surface of the ground so it will be warmer. It’s common sense and yet so many people get misinformed about this information!
Contact Jack Lehr with Geothermal Heating Questions
If you ever get stuck in a situation like this again where you keep finding different people making different statements about something important, do yourself a favor; call a professional that actually knows what they are talking about and see what kind of advice they can give you about the heat pumps. Sure, the internet is much more convenient, but as you can see here there are a lot of back and forth on what is true and what is not!