Archive for December, 2009
1. Adaptability: GHP can be used in a variety of climates and conditions. With air-source pumps, the general external temperature matters quite a bit. However, regardless of surface temperature, the temperature beneath the earth’s surface remains more or less warm, constantly. This makes it possible to use GHP in different geographical regions with different temperatures. Add to this, there are four different types of GHP installations available, depending on different soil, climate and installation costs. The local installer will be able to guide you to the best option for you.
2. High Efficiency: Because the earth’s temperature is more or less constant, GHP provide you with better heating cooling without having to create any heat in the first place. For moving heat, GHPs use only 50-75% of the electricity used by other heat pumps. This makes them extremely efficient, with a rate of 300-400%. They’re also very efficient at controlling humidity, which works great for a wet weather like ours.
3. Durability: GHPs have no moving parts, and the parts are rarely exposed to weathering or destructive elements. As such, with a proper installation, the entire system can last up to 25 years (and certain parts up to 50)
4. GHPs are much quieter that other heat pumps, require less space and can be configured for use in a new home or old one. Plus, it is also possible to control the heat supply and therefore the temperature of different rooms with GHP.
When trying to conserve energy and your wallet, one of the important factors many people overlook is weather. There is a certain ‘optimal’ HVAC system for every kind of weather, and by designing with that in mind helps to makes sure that your budget remains optimal too. Not every house needs air conditioning or furnace heaters. For instance, if you usually have moderate weather throughout the year, like we have in the Pacific Northwest, you could actually replace conventional heaters and A/Cs with heat pumps. And we generally advice our clients to go in for geothermal heat pumps. (GHP)
A heat pump works by moving heat from a warm area to a cool area. It operates on electricity and generally moves heat from the warm air outside to your cold interiors or warm air indoors to cool exteriors. Heat pumps that exchange heat in this manner are called air-source heat pumps. Overall pumps have high efficiency, in fact the highest, since they use very little energy and don’t really create heat, only move it. A geothermal pump works in a similar fashion, only, it exchanges heat with the earth, instead of air. Geothermal heat pumps move the earth’s heat through ducts into a cool house, and vice versa. Because the lower layer of the earth remains more or less at the same temperature, and is warm, GHP work in almost every kind of weather and are favored largely in extreme temperatures.
Geo Thermal Heat pumps are generally more expensive than conventional heating systems. However, the success of an installation depends on the weather, soil quality and certain other factors. Yet, over the long term, the operating costs of heat pump, especially geothermal heat pumps cost very little to operate and provide up to 300% efficiency.
1. It’s easier to install and the units are smaller than conventional duct systems. Mini splits come in different capacities depending on the area you want to use it for. However, they all require nothing more than drilling a hole a few inches in diameter through your wall. This considerably brings down you labor costs and time taken for installation.
2. It has more aesthetic appeal. The indoor fixture are usually built with very sleek design and finishing, (depending on the cost) and are come in various mounting options. For instance you will find indoor fixtures that can be installed on the ceiling, corners or walls.
3. Space friendly. The indoor and outdoor parts can have as many as 50ft between them. Thus, you could install the outer condenser somewhere inconspicuous, like the back of the house, when it won’t be an eye-sore.
4. Duct HVAC systems usually cause a certain amount of heat loss through the ducts, particularly if they haven’t been insulated well (That’s another thing – there is no insulation required with mini splits) With mini splits there’s no such issue – there’s minimal loss of heat or energy through the conduit wires.
5. The cost is comparable to a standard heat pump system. Unlike heat pumps, Mini splits only lose about 40% of their efficiency when the temp drops to zero degrees. However by over sizing the unit by 40 %,( this adds a little to the upfront cost) you will have 100% efficiency at zero degrees. Given the last cold spell we had in December, this could be money well spent.
We will all agree, that when it comes to home operating costs and maintenance, little else burns as large a hole in our pockets as heating and cooling. HVAC is one place where homes lose a lot of greenery – in terms of money, and in terms of the carbon footprint they add. Therefore, when we remodel homes, a lot of homeowners want to know how to restructure their HVAC systems, to make their homes (and their pockets) greener. Our answer to them – mini split systems.
Most homes run on centralized HVAC systems that use ducts and sometimes pipes to control temperatures indoors. While these systems are quite alright, they are not always feasible when you are attempting a remodel, especially if you are adding an extra floor or room space or making major design changes. Restructuring the entire duct and pipe system adds considerably to the cost. Mini split systems make it easy to manage indoor temperatures without any major construction or uprooting.
Mini split systems are also called ductless systems and are available for heating and air conditioning purposes. These systems come with three parts, which can be very simply explained as: one part which is mounted indoors to maintain air and temperature, one part outside which handles the condensing and compressing and a third part linking both parts with suction wires, electrical wires, drain and refrigerant tubing. This entire system can be fitted with minimal inconvenience and construction and works efficiently to heat/cool/condition as per your requirements.
The amazing thing about them is their efficiency. Bonneville Power administration just did a study that found that mini splits can be as high as 450 % efficient. For every $1.00 you spend you get $4.50 worth of heat. Nothing else on the market even comes close. Back that up with a supper insulated house and your heating bill will become a non issue.
South Sound Chapter
The South Sound Green Tour
Innovation – Education – Inspiration
April 17th and 18th, 2010
A community event to celebrate green innovations through education in sustainable building and inspired living.
This year’s tour will showcase the greenest homes and buildings in our area that incorporate significant use of solar or other renewable energies, new and reclaimed materials, low energy consumption and water conservation technologies, and sustainable design techniques.
Educational sessions will be held at various locations and feature real life topics on how to build and live greener. See our website for more details – www.SouthSoundGreenTour.com The site will be running by January 1, 2010
The Cooper project that we have been building will be one of many homes and businesses that will be open to the public for the weekend. Mark your calenders and join us, it should be a great time
The Northwest Eco Building Guild is an alliance of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest.
A vital organization, our mission is to provide leadership in education to transform the built environment and build a sustainable society.