Geothermal heat pumps perform the task of heating and cooling a home more efficiently than other available options like gas and oil furnaces. Despite incurring high up-front installation costs, homeowners get to enjoy the long-term benefits that accompany this heating system. Other than merely heating a home using lesser energy, geothermal heat pumps can also lower reliance on fossil fuels and release warm water when in cooling mode. These benefits have earned this heating system a significant fraction of loyal clients. Even though they can cut energy costs by up to 80%, geothermal heating, and cooling systems do not have an appealing market acceptance.
The geothermal heat pumps have a small market share. This share is steadily growing even though the pump has not yet found its way into the international markets. Recent studies indicate that the market share in North American industrial buildings grew at an annual rate of 7.8% since 2012. The figure is 4.7% higher than the entire North American climate control market. Other studies indicated that there was less than 5% growth in sales in the period between 2013 and 2015. This is however followed by a drastic 20% to 30% growth between 2016 and 2018. The latter is less optimistic for the short-term but more favorable for the medium and long-term range.
Geothermal heat pumps are more economical, except for those areas that have trouble during installation. These include locations with super-insulated homes and places that experience moderate climates. This is despite advancements in Air Source Heat Pump technology, perceived to be a threat for the geothermal heat pumps. GHPs can supply warm water even as it cools, and is tolerable to harsh weather conditions like cold and snow. On the other hand, ASHPs easily default upon exposure to sudden environmental changes.
Geothermal heat pumps are advantageous under such circumstance. Unlike the Air Source Heat Pumps, Geothermal Heat Pumps do not need digging out after a snowstorm. However, if two pumps are placed side by side and both operating simultaneously, one pump would not perform optimally as one pump directly blows warm air to the other. Even though the pros outshine cons, GHP sales are still lower than expected.
The air source heat pump has received greater recommendations to numerous net zero homes. Net-Zero Home specialists including Marc Rosenbaum raised hackles by offering the same recommendations, relating to the story of Putney School’s sixteen thousand square-foot Net Zero Field House. The designing team utilized GHPs to model its cost, together with ASHPs and extrasolar photovoltaics enough to offer additional electricity required to run the ASHPs. They realized that the installation of geothermal heat pumps was more expensive than expanding the solar system to power the air source heat pumps. Additionally, solar prices have dropped since the establishment of the Putney Field House.
Nonetheless, Net Zero homes do not directly affect geothermal heat pumps market rates. This is because Net Zero homes are an exception and not the determinant factor for the market. Lower heating loads mean lower efficiency for the geothermal heat pumps, which in turn makes it difficult to repay for extra installation costs.