Friday, October 17, 2014

Ground source heat pump – Top 5 mistakes

There are quite many failures or mistake when purchasing or installing ground source heat pumps. Here are top 5 I'm hearing from users:

  1. The output power of the heat pump is too high or too low. The problem is that nobody made his homework. Nobody made calculations how much power is needed according to the heat loss of the house. Usually the customer buys too powerful heat pump.
  2. The dimension of vertical or horizontal ground sourced collector is too small, too weak. Again nobody made his homework. There is absolute need that one engineer prepares the blueprint and proper energy/heat calculations for the heat pump and for the collector.
  3. The low temperature heat pump is attached or installed to existing high temperature heating systems. This is usually a big mistake. In such cases heat pump can be used as secondary heat source for low temperatures, but for very cold days your should use more powerful and high temperature source (e.g. gas or oil).
  4. Instead of existing furnace (oil, gas, wood) the heat pump of same power is installed. Usually this will not work. One one hand existing furnace was probably too much powerful and there is no need for the heat pump of the same power. On the other hand heat pump will probably ensure only temperatures up to 50 Celsius which is too low, unless high temperature heat pump is used. 
  5. Installations in the ground are not of good quality. Since the investment in ground source collector is pretty high, the installation must be of 100% quality. No errors, damages or leaks are permitted. If there is a problem it is very hard first to find the spot of error and second the repairs are very expensive. The vertical collector must run without problems for 30 years. Request proper warranty.

When installing a heat pump in old house and old heating system, I would definitely propose to first insulate the house and change windows and after that install heat pump system.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monitor Heat Pump Electricity consumption

This winter 2014/2015 a have a new device and a tool in place to monitor my Heat Pump electricity consumption. It is called Efergy Energy monitor ( You can track the consumption at the very moment, you can track average consumption, consumption per day or month, you can monitor costs per day, month and some other statistics and future predictions. I'm now in the testing phase and it really works fine. I can monitor my consumption either on the web via personal computer or Android phone (you can download the application on the G. Play). I already found some strange deviations and what is causing real costs. I will be able to check if the Heat Pump specifications regarding energy consumption are something you can trust. Hope you like the post ... I'll be back :-)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ground sourced heat pump – Experiencing 7 years of operation

In this post I will share most useful experiences related to the 7 years of operation of my ground sourced heat pump. Most wanted facts about heat pump operations:
  • Costs: In first years operating costs (heating area 150m2, good insulation, county EU Slovenia) were from 250€ to 350€ for one winter season.
  • Operation time: The heat pump was in operation 3,5 hours on average per day.
  • Geothermal collector efficiency: At the beginning of the winter season the water from the geothermal collector was about 10,5 degrees Celsius.  At the end of the winter season the water from the geothermal collector was about 7 degrees Celsius.

The pump was running very smoothly without any problems ... until. Two years ago I noticed that my heat pump runs more and more hours per day. At the end it was running almost 5 hours on average. From 3,5 hours to 5 hours  ... what happened?! The winters were comparable in last years, the settings of the heat pump were the same, the geothermal collector was working O.K. So? I called the maintenance team of the producer of the heat pump. They showed up very quickly in few days. We found out an oil stain inside the heat pump below the compresor and we found out that cooling gas level is too low. After checking and screwing some pipes we added the cooling gas to the correct level. We started the machine, made some tests and ... it was running like new and it still do. The cost for the maintenance was 70€ and it was worth paying this money, because the pump will again run more efficient this winter. Having any additional questions ... just post a comment and I will try to answer asap.

Thank you all for sharing useful experiences and issues for geothermal heat pumps

Hi All. I was reading those days your posts and comments on the last post of my blog. I found them very useful. I didn't know that the providers of heating services are so well organized and experienced. I believe the links provided are useful and also some others readers of this blog could benefit. Here I'm listing your links again. Meanwhile I would like to inform you that I'm preparing a new post where I will introduce my already 7 years of experience with operating a ground sourced heat pump.

Links I found them useful:

Thank you again.