Miami Green Homes


Geothermal Heat Pumps – Guest Contribution by Lorie Wampler
September 9, 2010, 2:03 am
Filed under: Building knowledge, Energy Efficiency, Resources

Former Oklahoma University scientist reveals how geothermal heat pumps spend less energy and increase the quality of air. Are you aware that Gerald McClain, after numerous years working with geothermal energy leader James Bose at Oklahoma State College, has invented an innovative home geothermal heating and cooling system?

Heat pumps function as a refrigerator in reverse, they use electric power to move heat from one place to one other instead of making heat directly. Therefore, they can be 2 to 3 times more power efficient than conventional electric heaters. A geothermal heat pump is a central home heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to/or from the terrain. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer).

The geothermal pump models are between the most energy efficient systems for providing HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) and water heating. The start-up rates are higher than conventional systems (about $45,000 decreased by a 30 % with federal tax credit), but the difference is typically returned in energy savings in three to 10 years.

The Gerald McClain’s geothermal system is based on:

 – 6 one inch diameter pipes sunk three hundred feet into the soft red clay below his home

 – A water antifreeze mix in the pipes that picks up the ground’s constant sixty two degree F. temperature

 – 3 heat pumps in the attic that use a small electric powered compressor to heat or cool the home

The energy for the pumps costs around $100 monthly, much less than the normal heating and cooling monthly bill in the area. A well managed heat pump system not only will save electricity, but will also blow dust into the house, improving in house air quality.

Indoor dust can pose health hazards, specially to young children. New data (As released in the epa.gov site in Sept ’09) presents that indoor dust is highly contaminated by persistent and endocrine disrupting chemicals (such as poly-chlorinated biphenyls).

Heat pumps achieve energy effectiveness by transferring heat around as opposed to liberating it. This is not to say there is no air activity with a heat pump, but the heat move lowers that process. So does the lack of a cold-cycle as it exists in many standard furnaces, which also acts to blow dust through the house.

About the writer – Lorie Wampler writes for the <a href=”http://www.splitairconditioning.net/mini-split-heat-pumps”>heat pumps ratings</a> blog. It’s a nonprofit website concentrated on her personal knowledge with air conditioning to reduce energy usage and improve indoor air quality. With this she would like to increase the awareness on eco-friendly tips for the home and change the public perception of energy efficiency.

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I was reading through some of your posts on this website and I think this site is really informative! Continue posting.

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