It’s one thing to load your house with a variety of green features like photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels, or a geothermal heat pump system, but it’s another thing entirely to have these systems work together to save as much energy as possible.
Depending on what type of green features your home has, your systems could interact in a variety of ways, but here are a few examples:
- Window sensors that trigger your air conditioning system to turn off when they’re opened, so you don’t “cool the outdoors”.
- A solar hot water system that redirects excess hot water into a geothermal system’s ground loop, boosting COP and eliminating wasted hot water.
- If your home uses passive solar gain, a fully integrated green home would circulate passively collected heat into other parts of the home, eliminating the need to run your geothermal system.
Geothermal Energy Advantages in a Green Home
Where do heat pumps fit into all of this? Geothermal heat pumps make a great addition to a green home, because they don’t use any fossil fuels and are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. If you’re using passive solar gain, you can use a geothermal heat pump as a back-up heat source in the fall and winter, and as an air conditioning unit in the summer.
If you’re using solar hot water panels, again, geothermal systems make a great back-up system when there is an undersupply of hot water. When there’s an oversupply of hot water, the ground loop of a geothermal system can store that extra heat, boosting the temperature of the loop field and therefore the efficiency of the heat pump.
Finally, when it comes to photovoltaic panels, there’s no better companion heating system than a geothermal heat pump. Geothermal heat pumps harvest free, renewable energy from the ground, and the only input they require is electricity to run the pump. If the electricity comes from a photovoltaic panel, the entire system is completely renewable, completely emissions free, and will lower your utility bills to zero.
Green home integration used to be a thing of the future, but now, it’s become a reality. Too make all green systems work harmoniously, green home integration is a must-have feature of your green home.