Geothermal heat pumps: 6 things you should know

You have finally decided to adopt the renewable energies. It's a good resolution! There, you immediately think of solar energy. It's a great option, but be aware that heat pumps also make your wallet and mother nature happy. In this article, we invite you to discover 6 things you should know about geothermal heat pumps.

1 - What is the operating principle of a pompe à chaleur ?

The heat pump (PAC) is a device that draws from the environment of thefree, clean and renewable energy (for the vast majority of PACs, the origin is the sun indirectly) to redistribute it in housing. Concretely, a heat pump captures the outside heat from hydrothermal water, soil via the geothermal or aerothermal air. It then transforms this heat at a fairly high temperature before returning it to the habitat via hot pulsed air or heated water which circulates in a heated floor or in radiators. It is also possible to use the device in addition to or in replacement of an existing heating system.

Thanks to underground sensors, a geothermal heat pump can therefore recover the calories naturally present in your garden to heat the interior of your home. However, this device can also work in reverse, as the case may be. In this context, the so-called reversible heat pump extracts the calories from a room to reject them outside to cool it down.

Principle of a geothermal heat pump (water-soil type)

2 - The different types of heat pumps geothermal

There are mainly two types of geothermal heat pumps. These are the vertical geothermal heat pump and the horizontal geothermal heat pump.

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THE'vertical geothermal heat exchanger does not need a large area to function properly. It is therefore possible to install it in a small urban garden. However, the device is a bit expensive because of the drilling to be carried out. It is indeed necessary to introduce under the ground pipes fitted with probes to extract calories up to 100 m deep.

As for thehorizontal geothermal heat exchanger, it is less expensive than its vertical counterpart. The piping network is buried here under the ground at around one meter deep. In order to recover the necessary calories, the collection pipes must extend under a fairly large surface. In other words, you must have a big garden to be able to set up this system.

3 - More economical than conventional electric heating

There are several geothermal heat pumps on the market. Each of them has a Coefficient of Performance (COP) quite high. The COP is nothing other than the relationship between the electrical energy consumed and the heat returned by the pump. This coefficient can vary and go up to 7 depending on the equipment.

In other words, for a COP of 3 or 4 for example, your geothermal heat pump can produce the equivalent of 3 to 4 kWh of heating by consuming only 1 kWh of electrical energy. So after installing the device, if you don't change your heating habits, you can divide your electric heating energy consumption by 3 or 4.

As a result, you drastically reduce the amount of your heating bills. What an economy! Admit, it's very interesting isn't it? In addition to 75% savings that you can do on your invoices, you can even collect rewards in euros on your CO2 account (safe device approved by the State). Yes, simply because the geothermal heat pump would have allowed you to reduce your CO emission2.

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4 - Geothermal heat pumps, an ecological solution for housing

The geothermal heat pump is an alternative to the consumption of fossil fuels such as:

  • Electricity;
  • Fuel oil;
  • Natural gas;
  • Propane.

The geothermal heat pump system makes it possible to use the heat energy stored below the Earth's surface. Choosing to heat with such equipment is to opt for a clean energy and respectful of nature.

No fossil fuels are used. It should be noted that it is possible, in place of the electrical network and the consumption of the energy produced by nuclear power plants, to install panels to exploit solar energy. In addition, this technology promotes non-rejection of CO2 in the air. The environment is therefore preserved.

On the basis of ADEME studies, the agency considers that this solution presents the best prospects for growth. More and more French households are adopting geothermal energy. In 2020, no less than 2 million inhabitants should be equipped with a geothermal heat pump.

5 - Excellent thermal comfort with the geothermal heat pump

Geothermal heat pumps offer good performance. They guarantee excellent thermal comfort, especially because they allow very rapid rise in temperature. In addition, these installations do not generally require the addition of a backup system, except in the case of extreme cold. Adapted to harsh climates, geothermal heat pumps are also compatible with old radiators.

6 - A high investment allowing state aid

The installation of a geothermal heat pump requires heavy work. To connect the device (drilling + installation of the pump), several professionals must be mobilized. This is why the installation price represents a investment Therefore. Nevertheless, the energy savings that we realize with the device allow to compensate quickly.

To optimize your energy efficiency, you must use a QualiPAC certified installer. Thus, you avoid rough designs that could affect your thermal comfort. Besides, solicit a RGE certified professional (Recognized Guarantor of the Environment) is often compulsory in order to benefit from most state aid.

Among the state aids that encourage households to increasingly adopt non-polluting energies, we can cite:

  • 0% interest rate loan;
  • The Energy 2020 bonus;
  • Le Tax credit or MaPrimeRénov 2020;
  • EDF support;
  • The rate of Reduced VAT ;
  • Aid from local authorities;
  • The help of ANAH (National Agency for Home Improvement).

With these aids, the installation of a geothermal heat pump becomes more affordable for households.

Ultimately, geothermal heat pumps are an excellent alternative to fossil fuels. By choosing to install this device, you are preserving the environment in your own way. As a bonus, you get a excellent thermal comfort and a good reduction in your heating bill. And even if the adoption of the geothermal heat pump proves to be an expensive investment, several state aids make it possible to greatly reduce costs!

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