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Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but use the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and, in most cases, hot water. Because they use the earth’s natural heat, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies currently available.

Earning the ENERGY STAR means products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

  • ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pumps use about 40-60 percent less energy than a standard heat pump.
  • They are quieter than conventional systems.

Remember, saving energy prevents pollution. By choosing ENERGY STAR and taking steps to optimize the performance of your heating and cooling equipment, you are helping to prevent global warming and promoting cleaner air while enhancing the comfort of your home.

You may also be interested to know:

  • Though these products can be more expensive to purchase up front, the cost difference will be paid back over time through lower energy bills.
  • When buying new equipment, sizing and installation are as important as product quality. Make sure to find a good contractor.
  • You can get better heating and cooling performance at home with ENERGY STAR home sealing (insulation and air sealing) and duct sealing.
  • Consider regular maintenance to maintain your heating and cooling system performance.

Find a Contractor:
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) online Contractor Locator includes a special designation to identify contractors who sell and are knowledgeable about ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC equipment. ACCA is a non-profit association whose goal is to help the best Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) contractors serve their customers. Look for the “Ask About ENERGY STAR” logo in the contractor search results. Please note that these contractors are not certified, endorsed, or otherwise approved by the U.S. EPA. Click here for ACCA Contractor locator. 

Residential vs. Non-Residential Geothermal Heat Pumps There is no official categorical distinction or division among geothermal heat pumps into non-residential vs. residential. The energy-efficiency metrics for all geothermal heat pumps are Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and Coefficient of Performance (COP). 

Information Source: ENERGY STAR qualified product listing 

Information Source: California Energy Commission database 

How to Access: Downloadable via an on-line bulletin board service by dialing (916) 654-4069.  A “Read Me” file describes all of the information available and gives instructions for downloading and use of the database files, including file decompression procedures. The fields in each database are described in a separate text file. Three-letter codes for Manufacturer names and Brand names, for all product types together, are listed in alphabetical order in two separate text files containing approximately 1,500 names and codes. 

To make a special request for a printed list, contact:
Appliance Certification Program
California Energy Commission
(916) 654-5106
(916) 654-4304 (fax)

Email: [email protected] 

Scope: On-line list and downloadable file contain over 500 models offered for sale in California.  Approximately half are residential type models Single package and split systems Water-source, groundwater-source, and ground-source closed-loop Cooling capacities from 6,800 – 152,000 Btuh Heating capacities from 8,600 – 189,000 Btuh

Original Data Source: Submitted to the Commission by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) on behalf of represented manufacturers or provided directly to the Commission by manufacturers. 

Update Frequency: Monthly 

Information Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE)  Listings of the Most Efficient Appliances. 

How to Access: On-line: Listings are also printed in ACEEE’s Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, 6th ed, 1998, available in bookstores or directly from ACEEE; orders may be placed by phone, fax, or email. 

Publications Manager American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
(202) 429-0063
(202) 429-0193 (fax)
Email: [email protected] 

1-25 copies: $8.95 each
26-99 copies: $6.36 each
100-499 copies: $4.77 each
500-999 copies: $3.98 each 

Scope: Listing includes 100 models from among 10 brands.  Ground-source and groundwater-source type.  Cooling capacities from 2.5 to 5 tons.  Heating capacities from 20,000 – 53,000 Btuh.  Models are grouped by size (cooling/heating capacity), and listed in order of descending COP. 

Original Data Source: Derived from Directory of Applied Air Conditioning Products, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), Arlington, VA, December 1997 – May 1998 edition. 

Update Frequency: Annually 

Information Source: EEPC/NYSERDA Energy Performance Listing, April 1997 (included in the “Commercial Heat Pumps” EPL, in Tables 7-20 and 28-39) 

How to Access: Print only; available in limited numbers from existing stock. 

Consortium for Energy Efficiency
(617) 589-3949
(617) 589-3948 (fax)
Email: [email protected] 

Scope: Listing includes over 950 models from 17 manufacturers with EERs at or above the 75th percentile as established by analyses performed under the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).  Cooling capacities from 9,900 – 65,000 Btuh.  Heating capacities from 7,400 – 65,000 Btuh.  Single package and split systems.  Models are grouped by cooling source, system type, and size (cooling capacity) and listed in order of descending EER. 

Original Data Source: Derived from Directory of Applied Air Conditioning Products, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), Arlington, VA, June November 1996, and Directory of Certified Unitary Air Conditioners, Unitary Air-Source Heat Pumps, and Sound-Rated Outdoor Unitary Equipment, February – July 1996. 

Update Frequency: One-time listing - No relation with, ENERGY STAR®, the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), or the US government. | About