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. This is a great option, but know that heat pumps can also delight your wallet as well as mother nature. 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 heat pumps, the origin is the sun indirectly) to redistribute it in housing. Concretely, a heat pump captures external heat from water by hydrothermal energy, soil via the geothermal or air by aerothermal energy. It then transforms this heat to a fairly high temperature before returning it to the home via the hot pulsed air or the heated water which circulates in a heated floor or in radiators. It is also possible to use the device in addition to or as a replacement for 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 operate in the reverse order depending on the case. In this context, the so-called reversible heat pump extracts calories from a room and rejects them outside in order to cool it.

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Principle of a geothermal heat pump (water-ground 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.

THEvertical 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 little expensive because of the drilling to be done. It is in fact necessary to introduce under the ground pipes fitted with probes to extract the calories up to 100 m deep.

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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. To be able to recover the necessary calories, the collection pipes must extend under a rather 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 ratio 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 while consuming only 1 kWh of electrical energy. So, after installing the device, if you do not change your heating habits, you can divide your consumption of electric heating energy 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, quite 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 exploit the heat energy stored under the Earth's surface. Choosing to heat yourself with such equipment is to opt for a clean energy and respectful of nature.

No fossil fuels are used. It should be noted that instead of the electricity grid and the consumption of energy produced by nuclear power plants, we can install panels to exploit solar energy. In addition, this technology promotes the 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, above all because they allow very rapid rise in temperature. In addition, these installations generally do not require the addition of a back-up system, except in the event 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 price of the installation represents a investment Therefore. Nevertheless, the energy savings that one achieves with the device make it possible 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. Moreover, request a RGE certified professional (Recognized Guarantor of the Environment) is often compulsory to benefit from most State aid.

Among the state aid that encourages households to adopt more and more non-polluting energies, we can mention:

  • Eco-loan at 0% rate;
  • The Energy 2020 bonus;
  • Le Tax credit or MaPrimeRénov 2020;
  • EDF support;
  • The rate of Reduced VAT ;
  • Aid from local authorities;
  • Help from ANAH (National Agency for the Improvement of the Habitat).

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 feature, 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 turns out to be an expensive investment, several state aids can greatly reduce costs!

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