Geothermal heat pumps are known for their low operating costs, long lifespans, and environmental friendliness. You might wonder whether or not extremely cold temperatures affect geothermal HVAC equipment. Read on to learn what you can expect when the polar vortex arrives in Bloomington, IL.

Insufficient Capacity

Geothermal HVAC systems are designed to transfer the same amount of heat all year long. According to the Department of Energy, professionally installed geothermal HVAC systems use 25% to 50% less energy than air-source heat pumps. When the air temperature drops well below zero, a poorly insulated home will lose a lot of heat energy. The heat pump will have to work harder to hold the indoor temperature. It may not have enough capacity to compensate for the heat loss around doors and windows. The best remedy for this may be caulking, adding weather-stripping, and improving insulation to reduce unwanted heat loss.

Blowing Cold Air

Geothermal heat pumps typically have a backup or auxiliary heating system. It consists of electrical resistance wires that provide emergency heat when the outdoor temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If your geothermal HVAC system is blowing cold air on a frigid day, the emergency heating system may have an electrical problem, such as a malfunctioning capacitor.

Excessively Long Run Times

The Earth’s temperature is remarkably consistent, hovering around 60 degrees Fahrenheit about 10 feet below the soil’s surface. It stays within five degrees of this temperature all year long, even when the air is extremely cold. If your geothermal HVAC system constantly runs when the weather is cold, this increases your electricity bill. It means the auxiliary heat is overworked. A common cause of excessively long geothermal heat pump cycles is a dirty air filter. Another possibility is a frozen indoor coil or incorrect setting on the low loop temperature range.

To learn more about cold weather issues with geothermal HVAC equipment, take a look at Custom Air Company’s geothermal heat pumps, or contact one of our professional heating technicians today.

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