What Climates Benefit Most From A Geothermal Heat Pump?

Because subsurface temperatures remain mostly constant despite the season, most parts of the world can effectively install and utilize geothermal heat pumps. Of course, there are always regions with specific qualities that will make a geothermal heat pump more or less attractive depending upon the circumstances. So, what climate would benefit most from a geothermal heat pump?

Geothermal Heat Pump in Tropical Regions

Tropical regions are right out the window! While a geothermal heat pump in a hot climate would not be a bad thing, in most cases, people who live in areas with hot summers and very mild winters will not get maximum benefit. They can use air-source heat pumps and not have to worry about the units freezing over in winter.

Also, geothermal heat pumps are most efficient when there is substantial groundwater and in some tropical regions water-rights and subsurface water management is a major issue. In Costa Rica, for example, there is a moratorium on new well construction. This would make any geothermal heat pump there less efficient than it could possibly be and make a cheaper air-source heat pump that much more attractive.

Geothermal Heat Pump in Extreme Cold Climates

However, a geothermal heat pump is an ideal choice for a region with very cold winters, since the subsurface temperature, as noted earlier, rarely changes no matter the extreme weather condition outside the home. That means any location in the northern United States that gets a lot of snowfall or ice can get solid heating through the winter much more cheaply than with a typical fossil fuel furnace. At the same time they can also depend upon the ready cooling power during summers, which can get hot anywhere in the country.

Geothermal Heat Pump in High Energy Cost Area

But, the very best climate for a geothermal heat pump is an area with high energy prices. Geothermal heat pumps, wherever they are located, require much less energy to heat and cool than traditional systems. That means even if you live in an area with a mild climate, like southern California, but have very high energy costs, a geothermal heat pump is ideal for you. You get heating and cooling and, most importantly, a lot of saved money on energy you don’t have to buy every month.

So, before you decide what home HVAC system to install, think about your local weather conditions, but, most importantly, think about how much you are spending every month on your electric bill and then think about how much geothermal heat pumps could save you.

8 comments (view/add)
  • Dean
    Posted on 10/3/2022

    Hi, We're having a house built in South Carolina on Lake Thurmond. Would residential geothermal work well in the climate her in mid South Carolina next to Georgia? Our lot is 3/4 acre, would that require drilling? With the new federal and state tax credits, it seems it's almost the same cost to install geothermal as a traditional HVAC heat pump.

  • Rebekah Muller
    Rebekah Muller from Ingrams
    Posted on 11/14/2022

    A geothermal heat pump may work there. Depending on what you have on the property, an open loop system will use clean enough well water to be considered drinkable. There is at least one supply well on the property, and there may be a return well that feeds back into the supply well in some way, or there may be a supply well that runs off into a nearby lake or pond. The supply well, which has a well pump installed, would need to pump water from the well into the cupronickel coaxial heat exchanger. Any whole-house water filter system that removes contaminants that make the water drinkable will suffice. Closed loop pond geothermal units typically use geothermal piping with distilled water flowing through it to create a heat sync as the copper/cupronickel heat exchanger, which is nothing more than a tube within a tube with 410a refrigerant flowing in one direction and distilled water flowing in the other, with the two never touching. In most of the country, including the north, a pond of at least 10 feet in depth is required to maintain a 50-60 degree year round temperature. The goal is to stay below the frost line. A pond with at least 10 feet in the middle is the rule of thumb. This is where the polyethylene piping will be rolled up and sunk. Give us a call at 270-575-9595 for more information on geothermal!

  • Eric
    Posted on 8/10/2022

    Hi, researching heat pumps and ran across this article, thanks for publishing. We're building anew home in a N. California coastal region. Moderate winters and cool summers, maybe into the high 30s in winter but very rarely highs beyond 75-80F in the summer. Is a geothermal heat pump overkill for this type of environment? I like the concept, I just can't imagine the power savings would pay out in a reasonable time. thanks,

  • Rebekah Muller
    Rebekah Muller from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/18/2022

    It wouldn't necessarily be overkill, but they are expensive up front. However, geothermal systems are great for a variety of climates and can save great amounts of money wherever you install them!

  • Charlie Harrison
    Charlie Harrison
    Posted on 12/14/2020

    Still have question, would it be beneficial for geo heat and cool in climate of Redding CA where it can get up to 118 degrees in summer and 30to 40 in winter

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 12/15/2020

    Absolutely! A good geothermal unit will have no problem in those temperatures.

  • Will Pereira
    Will Pereira
    Posted on 5/25/2020

    Hi I am only looking to use Geothermal for cooling. I am considering a system of such in Costa Rica. I am originally from Canada and the system was very efficient in cooling. Can you please assist? If wet ground is difficult to find, would the system not work there?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 5/26/2020

    We can definitely help you find the right geothermal system for you. They are definitely very efficient cooling systems. A closed loop geothermal system can work regardless of the presence of groundwater.

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