We install Nordic brand heat pumps. Built locally in Petitcodiac, NB, Nordic has a solid track record and over 30 years experience in the industry. We are an accredited designer/installer and a member of CGC (Canadian Geoexchange Coalition).
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are electrically powered home heating and cooling devices which transfer heat to and from the earth via a refrigeration process. Heat pumps have been in operation for over 50 years and operate on the same principle as your household refrigerator or air conditioner.
The ways to utilize geothermal are: closed loop or open loop.
Closed Loop Systems
Closed loop means pipe is put underground and an antifreeze solution is circulated to absorb the earth’s heat. This heat is carried into the home to the heat pump which concentrates the heat to a higher temperature. It can then be used to heat the home. For building lots with ample space, the pipes can be laid in trenches 6 feet deep. The trenches are back-filled and the land can be used for almost anything. In many cases the land is left in much better shape after the trenching.
For smaller lots, boreholes are drilled and the pipes inserted vertically. No ground water is used; the solid pipe just absorbs heat along the length of itself. Boreholes are slightly more efficient but more costly than the trenches. The number of trenches or boreholes depends on the size of the house to be heated.
Open Loop Systems
The open loop method uses two wells, drawing water from one well and sending it to the heat pump. The heat pump concentrates the heat in the water, and heats the home. The cooler water is then returned to the water table via a second well. This method can be more efficient than closed loop if the well yields enough volume of water for the heat pump and domestic usage, plus is free of minerals that can affect the heat pump. The level of water in the well should be near the surface so power required to pump is low.
Heat Distribution in the Home
That’s how we get the heat from the earth; now how should it be distributed inside the home? The two main ways to distribute the heat are: forced air and infloor heat. Forced air uses conventional ductwork to circulate warm air throughout the house. In the summer, the system can be reversed to provide air conditioning. The ductwork for geothermal needs to be slightly larger than normal as the “warm” air is not quite as warm as oil or wood heat. The house is heated just as comfortably by circulating higher volumes of warm air from the heat pump.
Infloor heat uses hot water circulated through pipes in the floor of the house. The overpour method of infloor heating (pipes are within concrete) is preferred for its ability to heat the home using the lowest temperature of water. Pipes mounted under the floor (in-joist) can work if designed properly but it is less efficient. The downside to infloor heat, despite its superior comfort in the heating season, is that it cannot provide air conditioning during summer. Ductwork could be installed for A/C in an infloor heat application, although for the increased cost, forced air only might be a better solution.
A nice feature of Nordic heat pumps is that they provide domestic hot water while they are running, to heat or cool the home.
Hot-water baseboard heaters require very hot water due to their distance from the occupants of the house. The requirement for very hot water makes this type of heating system incompatible with heat pumps.
Natural Renewable Energy
Solar heat which has been stored in the earth’s crust provides the inexhaustible source of supply energy for a geothermal heat pump. This energy is replenished each year by the sun during the normal cycle of our seasons. There is enough energy stored beneath each building to more than supply the cooling and heating requirements. All we need to do is extract that energy and the geothermal heat pump has been designed to do just that!
Studies by the US Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada ranked new generation geothermal heat pumps above all other heating and cooling systems in their ability to conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions.
When compared to an electrically heated home, geothermal heat pumps consume less than 1/3 the amount of electrical energy to heat the structure. Consequently the electric utility company generates only 1/3 the emissions it normally would.
What can a home owner expect from a geothermal heat pump?
Savings – Savings up to 75% over electric heat as well as possible discounts on house insurance.
Comfort – Automatic heating, cooling and hot water with a centrally located heat/cool thermostat.
Cleanliness – A clean operating system with no combustion.
Durability – Nordic geothermal heat pumps have a solid track record and are covered by a 10 year warranty.
Reliability – Systems are housed indoors and are underground protected from harsh elements. With few moving parts, the systems are virtually maintenance free.
Green energy – Heating and cooling a home with a renewable energy source helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.