Condensing Boiler Vs Geothermal Heat Pump
Cooling and heating systems have been essential home components for many people all over the world. As the years go by, old systems are replaced with newer systems and because of this people have come to know how highly efficient and dependable geothermal heat pumps are. However some people haven’t recognized yet the newly designed condensing boilers powered by nature’s own gas which are 95% efficient in generating heat or cold.
When heat pumps powered by geothermal sources produce 350% efficiency, the condensing boilers have lower heating outlays even at only 95% efficiency.
If you want to find out the actual expenditure for each system you have to include the fuel cost, as in the example below:
In this sample, 100,000 Btu will be the value used to signify the production cost when we compare the two units/systems.
To have a precise comparison, we first convert the electricity from the geothermal pump which is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) into “therms”. “Therms” represents the measure of natural gas that powers the condensing boiler.
The value of 1 Therm equals 100,000 Btu, thus we only need to determine the number kWh need to make 100,000 Btu. Since, 1 kWh = 3,413 Btu then 29.3 kWh is equal to 100,000 Btu which is also equal to 1 “therm”.
The price of the electricity in New England is at o.143 USD per kWh. Therefore, one electric “therm” has a price of 4.19 USD (29.3 x 0.143 USD). The National Grid states that one “therm” of natural gas has a retail price of 0.78 USD.
Then we need to relate the efficiency of each system to its own fuel’s price. Take note that you need to apply the coefficient of the percentage of each system and use it as a constant to have an accurate comparison.
At 95% efficiency, the coefficient of the condensing boiler is 1.05 or while at 350% efficiency, the coefficient of the geothermal heat up is .29 or.
The last step is multiplying the efficiency coefficient and the expense per fuel therm of the respective system. This will help us know which system will generate an amount of 100,000 Btu of heat at the least cost.
And the results tell you that the condensing boiler produces 100,000 Btu at 0.82 USD as compared to geothermal heat pumps which produce the same amount of heat at a higher amount, 1.22 USD.
We can therefore conclude that although the heat pumps with geothermal sources have efficiency 3½ times more than the condensing boiler, the latter is 49% more cost-efficient than geothermal pumps. The reason for this is that New England currently holds higher electricity prices and lower costs for natural gas.
The rate of utility differs from place to place but you can make use of the above mentioned equation to be able to determine which heat pump is cost-effective.
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