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Questions and Answers

The following is a listing of common questions regarding the application of Climate Master Geo-Thermal heat pumps

Does the underground pipe system really work?

The buried pipe, or "ground loop," is the biggest technical advancement in heat pump technology to date. The idea to bury pipe in the ground to gather heat energy began in the 1940's. But it's only been in the last 25 years that new heat pump designs and improved pipe materials have been combined to make geothermal heat pumps the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.

What is a closed-loop system?

The term "closed-loop" is used to describe a geothermal heat pump system that uses a continuous loop of special buried plastic pipe as a heat exchanger. The pipe is connected to the indoor heat pump to form a sealed, underground loop through which water or an anti-freeze solution (depending on where you live) is circulated. Unlike an open-loop system that consumes water from a well, a closed-loop system recirculates its heat transferring solution in pressurized pipe.

Where can this loop be located?

That depends on land availability and terrain. Closed-loops are trenched horizontally in yards adjacent to the home if the yard is large enough. Or, for smaller yards, the loops can be installed vertically using a drill rig, much like a water well installation.

How efficient is a geothermal heat pump?

Geothermal heat pumps are 3.5 to 5 times as efficient as the most efficient fossil fuel furnace. Instead of burning a combustible fuel to make heat, they simply move heat that already exists. By doing so, they provide 3.5 to 5 units of energy for every unit used to power the heat-pump system.

Which system is best, open or closed-loop?

The net results in operating cost and efficiency are virtually the same. Which system to choose depends mainly on whether you have an adequate ground water supply and means of disposal. If you do, an open loop can be used very effectively. If not, either a horizontal or vertical closed-loop system is your best choice. Over a period of years, a closed-loop system will require less maintenance because it's sealed and pressurized, eliminating the possible build up of minerals or iron deposits.

How are Climate Master Geo-Thermal heat pumps normally installed?

There are two common methods of installation; the “open loop” or water well type applications and the closed loop, earth coupled or buried piping grid applications.

Why are power companies so interested in water source heat pumps?

Water source heat pumps reduce peak demand and are useful for load shaping and filling usage valleys.

What is a defrost cycle?

The defrost cycle is used to melt ice off of the outdoor coil on AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS.  Since water source heat pumps are indoors and use the earth as a heat source instead of the outdoor air, the DO NOT REQUIRE A DEFROST CYCLE.

What is a Geo-Thermal heat pump system?

A Geo-Thermal heat pump system is an electrically powered system that taps the natural heat stored in the earth to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. In addition, this system can provide hot water.

How does it work?

The Geo-Thermal heat pump simply moves heat energy from one place to another. A refrigerator works on the same scientific principle. By using the refrigeration process, Geo-Thermal heat pump systems remove heat stored in the earth and transfer it to the building in winter. During the summer, the same system removes heat from the building and transfers it to the earth.

How is heat transferred between the earth and the building?

The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat from the sun. To tap that stored energy, heat is extracted from the earth via ground water or by water circulated through underground pipes and pumped to a water source heat pump. There, the heat is intensified to heat your home. In summer, the process is reversed. Indoor heat is extracted from your home and transferred to the earth through the water. As a side benefit, this system can also heat your potable water at no extra cost.

How large is a Geo-Thermal heat pump?

The Geo-Thermal heat pump used for most residences is smaller than the typical washing machine.

Does one system heat AND cool?

Yes. One of the things that makes a Geo-Thermal heat pump system so versatile is its ability to be a heating or cooling system. It can change from one mode to another by simply changing thermostat settings.

How efficient is a Geo-Thermal heat pump system?

The Geo-Thermal heat pump system is more than three times as efficient as the most efficient fossil fuel furnace. Instead of consuming a fuel to create heat, the Geo-Thermal heat pump system simply moves heat that already exists. Therefore, it can easily provide three units of energy for every unit of energy used to power the system.

What improvements in efficiency can be expected?

Climate Master is continuing to improve efficiency with COP’s in excess of 4. Using the earth as the heat source and water as the heat transfer medium allows the Geo-Thermal heat pump system to take full advantage of the high efficiencies provided by Climate Master’s water source heat pumps.

Are there savings in using a ground source heat exchange system?