Geothermal systems are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies available, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, because they use the earth’s natural ability to supply or absorb heat at extremely high efficiencies. Geothermal systems are commonly used to provide heating and cooling to homes, schools, hospitals, as well as commercial and government buildings.
Geothermal systems take a fundamentally different approach to heating and cooling than conventional systems. Unlike conventional furnaces—which create heat by burning a fuel such as natural gas, propane, or fuel oil—GHP systems don’t create heat, so there’s no chemical combustion. Instead, geothermal systems move heat (thermal energy) stored in the earth or groundwater to the building during winter and remove heat from the building to the earth or groundwater during summer months.
What are the cost benefits of geothermal?
Even though the installation price of a geothermal system is more than that of conventional heating and cooling systems of the same capacity, the energy savings are significantly lower and therefore will offset the higher installation costs over time.
When the cost of a Geothermal system is included in a mortgage, your investment should produce a positive cash flow from the beginning. In other words, the extra cost of the Geothermal system to the total mortgage payment will likely be exceeded by energy cost savings over the course of each year.
Learn about various financing options by going to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website.
Are there financial incentives to installing a Geothermal system?
Geothermal systems installed in new or existing homes by Dec. 31, 2016, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.
What are the maintenance requirements of a Geothermal system?
System life is estimated at 25 years for the inside components and 50-plus years for the ground loop, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Geothermal systems have relatively few moving parts and those parts are sheltered inside a building, so the systems are durable and highly reliable. Geothermal systems usually have no outside compressors, so they are not susceptible to vandalism.
To learn more about choosing and installing a geothermal heat pump system, visit the U.S. Department of Energy website.