No matter how hot or cold the weather in your area is on any given day, the temperature underground remains between 45 and 75 degrees year-round. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of this consistent underground temperature to provide some of the most efficient home heating and cooling options on the market. While some buyers are wary of geothermal because of its high initial cost, these systems are actually the most economical way to heat and cool your home in the long run thanks to reduced energy bills and generous tax incentives.
While a new furnace costs just a few thousand dollars, geothermal systems range from $10,000 to $30,000. This includes not only the pump itself, but also the excavation and underground plumbing required for these systems to operate. Of course, the exact cost of your system can vary based on the layout of your property, the size of your home, and a host of other factors.
So if geothermal systems cost as much as 10 times more than the standard furnace, why do so many people buy them? It's all about the savings. A geothermal system will cut heating bills by 30 to 60 percent, and cooling costs by 20 to 50 percent according to The Family Handyman. This reduction in heating and cooling costs means that you'll pay off your initial investment in two to ten years. Given the 25 to 50 year life of geothermal systems, that means many years of significant savings once you've paid off your initial investment.
Rebates and Discounts
If you're worried about how you'll handle the upfront costs involved in geothermal, explore the various rebates and incentives designed to encourage investment in geothermal and other energy efficient technologies. For example, the US government offers a tax credit for up to 30 percent of the cost of a new geothermal system through December 2016. You'll also find similar programs offered by state agencies, local government, and even utility providers, which can make these systems much more affordable for the average homeowner. Stacking these rebates and tax credits together may bring the price of a geothermal heat pump closer to the cost of traditional heating systems.
A geothermal heat pump not only heats and cools your home, but can also offer significant savings when used for heating water or swimming pools. According to the US Department of Energy, geothermal systems provide free hot water in the summer, while winter hot water heating bills are reduced by around 50 percent compared to a standard hot water heater. For more information, talk to a professional like SouthEast Geothermal.