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Houston Geothermal Heat Pump FAQ

What is Geothermal? | How Geothermal Systems Work | Geothermal FAQ

A-1 Tops Services provides Houston Geothermal Heat Pump FAQ for your consideration. Heat & cool your home at lower costs than traditional methods.

Q: How does a Ground Source Heat Pump work?
While the temperature of the air varies greatly with the seasons, the temperature of the ground at 50 feet feet beneath the surface remains at a steady temperature all year round. That means the temperature beneath the ground is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in summer. A Ground Source Heat Pump, or GSHP, lets you tap into this readily available energy source to keep the inside of your home cold during the summer and warm during the winter.

Q: What is the difference between a GSHP and a traditional heat pump?
Geothermal heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but instead of using heat found in outside air, they rely on the stable temperature conditions found just below the surface of the ground to provide heating, air conditioning and hot water.

Q: How efficient is A-1 Tops Services' Ground Source Heat Pump System?
New heat pump designs and improved buried pipe materials have made GSHP systems the most efficient heating and cooling systems available today. A Ground Source Heat Pump, or GSHP system, has heating efficiencies 50% to 70% higher than other heating systems and cooling efficiencies 50% to 70% higher than traditional air conditioners, all of which results in big savings on your home energy costs.

Q: Can one GSHP system provide both space heating and cooling for my home?
Yes. You can change from one mode to another using your indoor thermostat. GSHP systems are generally sized to meet all your heating and cooling needs. Depending on heating needs, a GSHP system usually supplies 80-100 percent of your design heating load.

Q: How does a GSHP system provide a comfortable indoor environment?
For heating purposes, a GSHP system moves warm air (90-105 ºF) throughout your home or business via standard ductwork. An even comfort level is created because the warm air is moved in slightly higher volumes and saturates the building with warmth more evenly. In summer the system acts in reverse, drawing heat out of the house and dissipating it into the ground, maintaining a cool, comfortable indoor environment.

Q: How does the A-1 Tops Services GSHP system heat water for my home?
A GSHP uses waste heat to heat water through a device called a desuperheater. During the summer, when the system is in cooling mode, hot water is produced as a byproduct of the normal thermal process. In winter, with the heating mode, the desuperheater heats a portion of your hot water.

Q: How will I save money by installing an A-1 Tops Services GSHP system?
Our GSHP systems save money, both in operating costs and maintenance costs. Investments can be recouped in as little as three years. There is a positive cash flow since the energy savings usually exceeds payment on the system.

Q: How much does a GSHP cost?
The initial investment for a GSHP system is sometimes greater than that of a conventional system. However, when you consider the operating costs of a geothermal heating, cooling, and water heating system, energy savings and tax incentives quickly offset the initial difference in purchase price.

Q: Are there tax incentives for installing a GSHP system?
As an incentive to encourage homeowners to take advantage of this type of clean and sustainable source of energy, the US government is offering a 30 percent tax credit towards the cost of installing geothermal home heating and cooling systems. Known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, it offers a 30 percent tax credit for the installation costs of qualified geothermal home heating and cooling systems like the ones installed by A-1 Tops Services.

Q: Is a GSHP system difficult to install?
Most of our units are installed without difficulty. Your existing ductwork can be easily retrofitted for use in your new GSHP system. Depending on soil conditions, length and depth of pipe, and equipment required, a typical horizontal GSHP installation can be completed in one or two days.

Q: Is a GSHP system easy to maintain?
GSHP systems are durable and highly reliable. They contain fewer mechanical components than traditional heating and cooling systems and since many of these components are buried beneath the ground or inside the house, where they are protected from outside conditions.

Q: Is it safe?
Because most of the GSHP system is located beneath the ground or inside the house, children and pets cannot injure themselves or damage exterior units. And GSHPs don't use open flames or flammable fuels so there are none of the fire hazards associated with natural gas and propane systems

Q: How much space does a GSHP unit require?
Much of a GSHP installation is buried beneath the ground. The heat pump units inside your home are about the same size as traditional heating and cooling units. And without the noisy fan units, GSHPs run much quieter than other heating and cooling systems.

Q: Will an underground loop affect my lawn or landscape?
No. Research has shown that loops have no adverse effects on grass, trees, or shrubs. Most horizontal installations require trenches about six feet deep, 8 - 10 feet wide. Temporary bare areas can be restored with grass seed or sod. Whether you use horizontal loop or vertical loop depends on the landscaping.

Q: Can a GSHP system be added to my existing furnace?
Yes. A GSHP can be easily added to an existing furnace system using the GSHP system as the main heating source and a fossil fuel furnace as a backup.

Q: What are the environmental benefits of GSHP systems?
By using a domestic green energy source, GSHP systems are making a huge difference in our environment. GSHP systems conserve energy because they move heat that already exists rather than burning something to create heat, reducing the amount of toxic emissions released into the atmosphere. And because it doesn't rely on outside air, a GSHP helps keep the interior air cleaner and free from pollens, outdoor pollutants, mold spores, and other allergens.

How do I get more information about having a GSHP installed in my home? Call A-1 Tops Services at 713-783-2665 (2665) for more information on how you can save big money on your home energy bills by installing a GSHP system in your home. Our helpful staff is here to answer any Houston Geothermal Heat Pump FAQ you may have or schedule a visit to receive a free estimate.