Integrate geothermal with water heating systems

| by Marina Dippel

There are a couple of ways to integrate geothermal heating and cooling and the hot water system in a home.

First, some geothermal or ground source heat pumps can incorporate a desuperheater, a system that uses the waste heat from the compressor to heat water for bathing and washing clothes and dishes. The hot water assist package can save homeowners 60 to 70 percent on their domestic water heating. Depending on the location of the home and incoming water temperature, a supplemental water heater may also be needed.

Second, a tankless water heater can be used as a hybrid system in conjunction with a geothermal ground source heat pump, often in cold climates where the air and water temperatures are challenging to raise during the coldest winter months.

A tankless water heater can be plumbed into the geothermal system to provide supplemental heat on the coldest of days to the water coming into the ground source heat pump. With the tankless water heater in the system, the heat pump and ground loop can be sized a little smaller, which saves on purchase and installation costs.

The tankless water heater boosts the geothermal system when it's needed, and can also provide domestic hot water for bathing and washing.

A hybrid system replaces both the existing furnace and water heater and only uses a little more gas than the existing tank type water heater you now use. You will have endless hot water and a warm comfortable home, a very low gas bill and only a slightly higher electric bill.

Topics: Building Green, Geothermal Heating & Cooling

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