Image of books and coffee.Ground Source Heat Pumps have gained popularity lately as an alternative to furnaces because of their energy efficiency and cost savings. But if you’re considering one, there are a few things to think about.

Space

GSHP systems require “loop fields” or underground wells, to function properly. And that means you’ll need a lot of space, which, depending on your lot size, may not be possible. Depending on your heating and cooling needs, you may need deeper or more wells. Propane furnaces, on the other hand, can be installed in basements, attics, or anywhere else a traditional furnace would be placed.

Comfort

GSHP systems fail to deliver the comfortable heat propane furnaces do. A standalone geothermal system delivers heat in the 90–120 degrees Fahrenheit range, resulting in a chill in the room. Propane heating systems consistently deliver heat in the 120–140 degrees Fahrenheit range, resulting in a warmer, cozier room.

Cost

While geothermal offers low annual energy costs, there are hidden costs many people don’t consider. The upfront and installation costs of geothermal (the pump itself and digging, installing and burying loops) are the highest of any heating system. Because of this upfront cost, it can take up to 15 years for the system to pay for itself in decreased energy costs.
A high-efficiency propane furnace, on the other hand, is affordable to purchase and install. And because propane is a clean, efficient energy source, the annual energy costs are affordable as well.

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