Master of Science (MS)


Construction Management

Document Type



In the last three decades of geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry, there has been an urge to present data, especially performance and itemized installation cost, as a plan to reduce the lack of knowledge and trust towards GHP systems for heating and cooling. The potential of GHPs in hot and humid climates is significant [Tao and Zhu, 2012]. However, past research efforts have demonstrated this potential through the use of simulation rather than real-time data. Therefore, the scope of work for this research is to investigate GHP system applications for residential buildings in areas with hot and humid climates. Based on the scope of work, the objective for this research is to determine the cost, energy performance, and the payback period of GHP systems using real data collected from residences in southern Louisiana. To achieve this objective, the research answered the following questions: RQ1: How do geothermal heat pump systems perform in terms of energy usage and costs in hot and humid climates when compared to traditional HVAC systems? RQ2: What is the payback period for installing a GHP system in hot and humid climates for a residential dwelling? A case study protocol was developed to collect building information, HVAC installation cost, financial incentive, energy usage, and end-user satisfaction data from residential buildings in Louisiana, three with GHP systems and two with conventional air-source systems. The electricity consumption and usage cost between the samples was compared using ANOVA in SPSS. This study concludes that tax credits can make GHP systems more affordable to average-size households as the payback period can be four times longer without the tax credits, and although the contractor base for GHPs in southern Louisiana is in its infancy, homeowners feel more satisfied with the performance of a GHP system than with the performance of a conventional air-source system.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Harper, Christofer