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Maximizing Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency: Your Questions Answered

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If you’re considering a geothermal heat pump for your home, you may be wondering about the benefits of the system as well as any potential problems you might encounter. These systems are known for their energy efficiency and long-lasting performance, but like any appliance, they can experience issues from time to time.  

In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common geothermal heating and geothermal cooling system questions and explore what you can do to fully enjoy this ultra-efficient HVAC option.  

How Much Energy Does A Geothermal Heat Pump Save?  

A geothermal heat pump uses about 25% to 50% less electricity than a conventional heating and cooling system. This is because geothermal heat pumps use the consistent temperature of the ground or groundwater as a source of heat in the winter and a cooling source in the summer. 

According to the Government of Canada geothermal heat pumps can save homeowners up to 65% in energy costs. Now that’s a big win!  

Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Work Efficiently In Cold Climates?  

Yes, geothermal heat pumps work efficiently in cold climates, including Canada. In fact, they are the most efficient option in these climates because the temperature underground remains relatively constant, even when the air temperature is well below freezing. As a result, this makes geothermal heat pumps a much more attractive option for cooler climates than air-source heat pumps when it is economically possible to install the ground loops.  

What Causes Low Cooling Output In A Geothermal System?  

Several different factors, including a low refrigerant charge, a malfunctioning compressor, a problem with a ground loop, or a clogged air filter can cause low cooling output from a heat pump. It’s important to have your system inspected by a professional to determine the exact cause of the problem and make any necessary repairs. 

To start the troubleshooting process, here are a few steps you can do:  

  1. Check the thermostat: Make sure the thermostat is set to the correct temperature and that it is functioning properly. 
  2. Inspect the air filter: A clogged filter can restrict airflow and cause low cooling output. Replace or clean the air filter if it is dirty. 
  3. Ensure nothing is blocking airflow around the unit.  
  4. If none of the above seems to be the issue, call a professional to inspect the refrigerant charge, ductwork and compressor.  

What Maintenance Is Needed To Keep My Geothermal System Working Properly? 

Having a professional inspect and service the system annually is crucial for keeping your geothermal system running effectively, which also extends its lifespan. During a tune-up, our expert technicians will check and replace the air filters, inspect the ground loop pump and antifreeze, and make sure every element of the system is running smoothly.  

What Are The Signs Of A Failing Geothermal Heat Pump?  

Signs of a failing geothermal heat pump can include:  

  • Reduced heating and cooling output 
  • Unusual noises 
  • Higher energy bills 
  • Reduced airflow 
  • Uneven heating/cooling in each room  

If you notice any of the above issues, it’s important to have your system inspected by a professional as soon as possible. 

What Are The Common Causes Of Leaks In A Geothermal System?  

No one wants leaks in their HVAC system—this can lead to inefficient heating and cooling as well as bloated utility bills. Some common sources of leaks in a geothermal system include damage to the pipes, fittings, or seals and corrosion of various parts. Therefore, it’s important to address any leaks as soon as they are discovered to prevent further damage to the system and keep your equipment running efficiently.  

Why Is My Geothermal Heating System Making Strange Noises?  

Unusual sounds from a geothermal heating system can be caused by a number of culprits, including loose parts, a malfunctioning compressor, or a buildup of air in the system. If you notice any strange noises, you should ring your trusted HVAC provider as soon as possible.  

Can Dirty Air Filters Affect The Performance Of A Geothermal System?  

Yes, dirty air filters are one of the most common causes of complaints in any HVAC system. Clogged air filters can affect the performance of a geothermal system by reducing airflow and causing the system to work harder than it needs to. This can lead to reduced efficiency and, consequently, higher than normal energy bills. 

Is Geothermal Heating & Cooling Worth It? 

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are a long-term investment, but for households that can economically install a lake loop, an open well loop or a horizontal loop, they are totally worth it thanks to increased energy savings, long lifespans, and ultra-low maintenance costs. 

If you’re ready to make the switch to geothermal or need any assistance with your current system, your local ClimateCare is here to help! ClimateCare is Southern Ontario’s leading cooperative of independent HVAC providers. Contact your nearest ClimateCare business today to learn more about their selection and services. 

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