Geothermal Heat Pumps: A Cost-Effective Solution or Not?

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When you hear about heat pumps, your mind first thinks of them as a device that is ideal for use in colder temperature zones. Well, that is true, but what if there are certain pumps that can be used in both colder and warmer temperature zones? 

Geothermal heat pumps are such heat-exchanging devices. Using the ground as the key source, they exchange heat within buildings. 

But are they cost-effective? Let’s dive into the world of geothermal heat pumps to see if they’re worth the money and hassle. 

How do geothermal heat pumps work?

Heat can easily be transferred with the help of a geothermal heat pump. The process involves the transfer of thermal energy between the ground and a certain property. In summer, these pumps take away all the cold and chilly temperatures from the building and shift them to the ground, which makes a building cool down. Similarly, in winter, they do the opposite.

So, a geothermal heat pump is a very low-cost and efficient heating and cooling solution that can be installed in all new buildings or homes.

What are some types of geothermal heat pumps?

The primary distribution of geothermal heat pumps comprises two categories: open-loop and closed-loop. 

Closed Loop:

The closed loop is further divided into 3 parts:

  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
  • Pond/Lake Systems


Horizontal heat pump devices require trenches that are four feet deep. This makes them an excellent choice for residential properties, especially if a home is being built from scratch. They are specifically designed for areas that have large amounts of land on-site. They prove to be energy-efficient and save a lot of money in the long run.


On the other hand, vertical heat pumps are best for commercial or large-scale buildings. With a smaller availability of land horizontally, vertical pumps prove to be beneficial. One of the side effects of these pumps is that they’re expensive, but with minimal land, they are installed in a way that allows minimal disruption.

Pond/Lake System:

If the area where you’re looking to install heat pumps involves a water body, then a pond/lake system is your ideal choice. In order to prevent freezing, these systems use a supply line pipe that goes underground from the building to the water and coils into rings below the surface. These are the least expensive, and that’s why they often become the reliable choice for many property owners.

Open Loop:

When you’re talking about open-loop systems, they’re different from closed systems. In this instance, the heat exchange fluid is a well or other surface body of water, and it passes right through the heat pump system. After this process is finished, the water flows back to the earth. If there is a clean water supply and all local groundwater discharge requirements are followed, then this option is appropriate.

How cost-effective is it to install a geothermal heat pump?

While geothermal heat pump installation is a bit pricey as compared to air source devices, it is a lifelong investment that always proves to be fruitful. While being on the topic, air source devices also consume a lot of energy, which leads to higher bills, while the geothermal heat pump is energy-efficient. 

As said before, geothermal heat pumps are a lifelong investment; the average lifespan of the pump itself is 20+ years. So, when you install it, be relaxed because it is going to stay with you for a very long time. The installation cost ranges from $12,000 to $13,000. The final price of installation of the whole system depends upon various factors, such as type of pump, size of house, infrastructure, and many more. It can go as high as $21,500.

What are some benefits of a geothermal pump installation?


When you go into the market to buy heat pumps, you always start thinking about whether it is a good investment or what benefits you gain after installing this particular pump. To make it easy for you, we have pointed out some key benefits that come with a geothermal heat pump installation. 


The key feature that makes a geothermal heat pump the star of the house is its ability to adapt according to the climate. Pipes are buried way too deep in the earth, which makes them unaffected by changing climates. In return, these pumps make the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter.


As mentioned before, geothermal heat pumps are very energy-efficient. They save up to 60% energy on heating and up to 50% on cooling. These energy savings are huge in comparison to all the electricity-consuming appliances in a house. Moreover, the efficiency return of a geothermal heat pump is somewhere between 300% to 500%. These pumps are the best choice for anyone who wants a heating and cooling system while being energy-efficient with the highest returns.

Are there any disadvantages to installing a geothermal pump?

Every device comes with its set of pros and cons. There are unlimited benefits that can compel anyone to install geothermal pumps but there are small disadvantages too. Let’s have a look at them.



Geothermal heat pump installation cost is a huge minus because not everyone has enough budget to think about this type of installation. They are pretty expensive but with high energy returns, this disadvantage gets overlooked.

Installation Site:

These pumps are best suited to be installed in areas that are under construction as it involves deep digging. Constructed houses or buildings can’t take the risk of installing them because they will need large-scale excavation and many other costly procedures.


As described above, a geothermal heat pump is the finest choice for anyone who needs a complete heating and cooling system. The only drawback of the high installation cost, it has a great shelf life and needs very little to no maintenance. It is one of the most energy-efficient and smart options for all homeowners who are looking to save some bucks on their bills. 

Thus, for all the people who are looking to make a one-time investment in heat pumps that repay their purchase cost with energy-saving then a geothermal heat pump should be their most premium choice.

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