In places with freezing winters and scorching summers, such as Nashville, homes need HVAC systems to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures year-round. Older homes are often equipped with furnaces that burn gas or oil to generate heat and separate air conditioners that use compressors and coils of refrigerant to create cool air. These systems, while they can be effective when properly maintained, do consume a large amount of fuel and electricity. When the time comes to replace your HVAC in Nashville, consider the advantages of a geothermal heat pump, which are outlined below.
How Geothermal Systems Provide Heat
Although daytime air temperatures in Nashville can vary by 60 degrees or more (the average high in July is 89.8ºF, while the average low in December is 28.9ºF), a few yards below the earth’s surface, the temperature is much more stable. Generally, the temperature below ground is between 50ºF and 60ºF, which means that in the winter it acts as a heat source. Geothermal heating systems simply move this thermal energy from underground into your home, rather than burning fuel to generate heat of their own. In the winter, the system can reverse the flow and use the ground as a heat sink to siphon excess warmth out of your home.
Advantages Geothermal Systems Offer
Traditional furnaces burn gas or oil, which means that you constantly need to supply them with fuel in order to generate heat. Depending on the price of gas or heating oil and the severity of any given winter, your heating bills may be quite substantial. Also, combustion produces byproducts such as smoke and carbon monoxide, which may enter your home if the furnace’s ventilation is not functioning correctly. Since geothermal heat pumps simply tap into existing heat below the ground, they can operate on very little electricity. They also run very clean, and will not release carbon monoxide or other hazardous fumes into your home in Nashville.
Other Types of Heat Pump
Depending on the design of your home, a geothermal HVAC system might not be the best choice for you. If you home has strong southern exposure on one side, for example, you heating and cooling needs in different rooms at different times of year may be drastically different, in which case you may wish to install a mini-split heat pump system, which allows you to control the temperature in different rooms with different miniature air-source heat pumps, which extract thermal energy from the air rather the ground.