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Myths and Facts About Heat Pumps

The need to meet both economical and environmental goals has generated a great deal of interest in ground source heat pumps.  Unfortunately, it has also generated a great deal of misinformation.

MYTH Ground source heat pumps enable building owners to tap into a “free” source of energy.
FACT There’s no such thing as free energy.  All energy sources have production and usage costs that need to be evaluated in the light of day.

MYTH Ground source heat pumps quickly pay for themselves in energy savings.
FACT In central Pennsylvania, the incremental cost of a ground source heat pump will NEVER be recovered.  In northeastern Pennsylvania, it would take 50 years to recover the incremental cost of a ground source heat pump.

MYTH Ground source heat pumps will reduce utility bills for building owners.
FACT Building owners will ultimately pay more with a ground source heat pump than with a high efficiency natural gas heating/electric space cooling system.

MYTH Ground source heat pumps are the clear choice for improving air quality and reducing emissions that cause global warming.
FACT The facts show that in Pennsylvania, using a ground source heat pump will result in significantly higher levels of carbon dioxide than a natural gas heating/electric space cooling system.

MYTH Use of a ground source heat pump will help reduce our use of environmentally damaging fossil fuels.
FACT Ground source heat pumps use electricity to function.  Electrical power plants are the number one source of harmful emissions — in Pennsylvania and the world.  Half of the electricity in Pennsylvania is generated with coal in a process that is only 30% efficient by the time it reaches its end user.