Comparative life cycle assessment: ground source heat pump system versus gas furnace and air conditioner system
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 15:32 authored by Alisha Kathleen Hunter
Ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems are an extremely efficient space heating and cooling technology. There is a large consensus throughout the literature that GSHP systems can reduce operational CO2 emissions by up to 80% in comparison to natural gas furnace (GF) and air conditioner (AC) systems. The literature is limited; however, in regards to the specific environmental impacts associated with the systems, as well as the impacts that occur throughout the systems’ entire life cycle. In this project, a comparative life cycle assessment was conducted to compare a GSHP system with a GF/AC system, examining 14 specific environmental impact categories. Results were consistent with the literature in regards to the operational stage; however the GSHP system displayed a significantly greater overall environmental impact. While these results are specific to the region of Ontario, Canada, they call into question the prevailing opinion that GSHPs are the more environmentally sustainable option.