Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

Geothermal Heat Pumps And Radiant Heating - An Absolutely Fabulous Combination

Geothermal Heat Pumps are usually associated with hot air heating and air conditioning. In climates that very seldom need air conditioning you need to concentrate more on heating. There is a very good way to use geothermal technology for very efficient and comfortable heating. Radiant floor heating can very easily be combined with a geothermal heat pump to give both comfort and efficiency.

Radiant floor heating has been the comfort and efficiency standard for many years. The feeling of a warm floor under your feet is priceless. Romping on the floor while playing with the children is great when the snow is blowing and the floor is pleasantly warm.

Geothermal heating has also been known for it's efficiency also. The drawback to hot air geothermal heating has been the air temperatures that are cooler than normal hot air heating systems. By combining the two types of systems you can have very comfortable heat and efficiency at the same time.

There are something’s that you do have to take into consideration before deciding on a system like this.
You will have to drill a few wells to extract the heat from the ground. The piping must be installing in the wells correctly for the system to work properly. The heat pump needs to be designed for hot water heating. You can not use a heat pump designed for hot air use and make it work for radiant heating. The radiant heat design must be figured to use water temperatures that are cooler than many radiant heat systems. A maximum temperature design should be 130 degrees F. To get this kind of design to work correctly you will have to use good quality heat plates and insulated under the heat plates. By following these guidelines I have designed systems that have heated houses very comfortably at temperatures well below zero.

If you decide to install this type of system make sure that the installer knows exactly what they are doing. This type of system requires many things to be done exactly right so that the water flows will allow the system to work correctly. The piping on the well side is very critical that it uses all the wells equally. On the house side the piping must be primary/secondary. Pumps and pipe sizes must be able to give very high flow rates so that temperature drop is kept to ten degrees or less. When working with such low temperature the piping and pumping becomes so much more critical.

By using these principles to combine two very great heating types you can have a very good heating system that perform very well for many years. The only other factor with this type of system is that you don not have the ability to get cooling from the system. That is probably the only drawback of this type of system. It would be great if there was a geothermal unit made that was heating only. The elimination of the reversing valve would be a cost savings and a plus overall. This system is best suited for cooler climates that require little or no air conditioning.

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2 Answers

How much room space can this unit cools or can I use it for two rooms

Hello Ursella Thompson,

Absolutely no information came through with your question about... Room air-conditioners (make/model/size)...

Which is actually okay because those calculations...

immediately become quite complex MORE BECAUSE OF THE ROOMS (& your climate) than the air conditioner.

The size of the room... height... INSULATION.number of windows (fenestration) & doors (their relative insulation, composition & size... drapes, shutters. blinds, shades... storm doors (all kinds of considerations).

Sadly... if you are interested in a "cheap" air-conditioning solution
this is the area where the cheap immediately becomes EXPENSIVE...

I personally hate having strangers in my house... but this is and area where getting a "utility ENERGY assessment" might be a good idea...

Then when you are assured your house is as good as REASON/FUNDS will allow...

THEN get estimates from A/C Vendors...
Hire an actual ENGINEER to get an idea of what your air-conditioning requirements are..?

Check the internet: you will be presented with an array of sheets, formulas... magic tricks..

It is important to know it is a CRITICAL DESIGN consideration... and has its on field of ENGINEERS.

Hope this helps


Buy Goodman Heat Pump Geothermal Heat Pumps Goodman Air Conditioner

Jul 04, 2016 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

why does aux heat come on when not set for aux heat

The "Aux Heat" setting on many heat pumps is electric heat. The electric heat will turn on when the outdoor temperature is too low to extract heat from the air. This can cause a significant increase in your electric bill if it remains too cold for the heat pump to work as designed. This is why heat pumps are used more in moderate climates as opposed to those that experience much colder temperatures. The electric heat also turns on during the "defrost cycle". Both of these conditions are normal. The video below may help you understand a little better.

Dec 08, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer


Heat pumps in cold climates suffer a number of limitations stemming from the fact that they are designed for air-conditioning applications. As climates become cooler and heating becomes more of the primary HVAC function, one may find that conventional heat pumps lose capacity and do not satisfy the load of the conditioned space. In colder temperatures, a conventional system’s need to defrost can further detract from heating performance. The use of resistance heat or fossil fuels to supplement or replace the vapor cycle. The additional use of supplemental heat to temper cold air blowing into the space during defrosts. As it gets colder outside, the delivery air temperatures inside begin to fall when no supplemental heat is being used. Supply air temperatures that are warmer than the return temperatures add heat to a space, but discomfort occurs when these supply temperatures drop below skin temperature. The air movement can feel cool or even cold. While the heat pump may be operating exactly as intended,the consumer will desire a more comfortable environment.

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Jan 17, 2009 | Heating & Cooling

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