Reliability Issues

A number of factors affect the reliability of geothermal heat pump systems. Good design, quality equipment, and competent installers are key.

Several of the most important considerations are:

  1. Establishing proper geothermal design criteria, including:
    Pay Attention! For ground-coupled systems - ground temperature, type of soil or rock, and moisture content.
    Pay Attention! For ground water systems - temperature, quality, and flow rate of well or other water supply.
  2. Properly determining the building's cooling, heating, and domestic or service hot water design loads.
  3. Properly sizing and selecting the heat pump system, using ARI-Certified heat pump models, and properly designing the overall system including duct and air outlet and return components.
  4. Correctly designing the hydraulic system, including the well pumping system or the ground loop heat exchanger system with pump.
  5. Properly installing and wiring all the system components. There is no substitute here for a knowledgeable and competent installation contractor!
  6. Adequately commissioning the system. Which includes:
    a) Cleaning and testing the system,
    b) Placing into initial operation,
    c) Measuring the performance,
    d) Comparing the actual results with the anticipated results, and
    e) Making the final corrections and fixes.
  7. Thorough instruction for the owner or operator on how to start, operate, and shut-down the system.