Investing in Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Geothermal as an Investment
Ground source heat pumps (also known as "geothermal" systems) provide efficient comfort all year long, free hot water, and are the most environmentally friendly type of heating & cooling system available. But did you know that a geothermal system can also be a great investment opportunity for you as a homeowner as well? Let's take a look at an actual recent example that shows how.
Time for a new system - so which one is right for you?
A homeowner recently approached us for an estimate to replace his 20-year old system. We conducted a thorough analysis of the home, inspected existing duct work & electrical, performed a heat loss/heat gain analysis, and established what type and size of system would be ideal for this specific home. We entered the data into our computers and after careful expert analysis, we arrived at two options for the homeowner to consider:
DETAILS OF HOME: The house in this example is a two-story home built in 1991, approximately 4,420 sq. ft. in size with average 2x6 construction, R-19 walls, decent vinyl windows and an R-30 attic. It has a 1,860 sq. ft. basement, a 1,860 sq. ft. main floor and a 700 sq. ft. upper floor.
As you can see, after the 30% federal tax credit the geothermal system was only $4,155 more than the next best option. And in some cases you might qualify for additional rebates from your utility company which would further bring down the upfront cost. Also, consider the fact that the geothermal unit will last 10-15 years longer than a conventional system and the upfront cost includes the one-time installation of the underground loop field which can last up to 100 years!
So the question becomes: Is that additional investment of $4,155 for worth it? Let's take a look at how much an ultra-efficient geothermal system can save you each year:
ESTIMATED ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS
Wow! This homeowner can save almost $1500 a year in lower operating costs with a geothermal system. (And even more in savings if you compare it to what they've been paying with their old, inefficient system.) At that rate, it will take less than three years to recoup the investment, and after that the savings go into the homeowner's pocket year after year! Not technically a money tree, but pretty darn close.
Keep in mind, these figures are based on current energy prices - as they rise, the savings are even greater for geothermal. How dependent do you want to be on energy prices staying at today's rates?
Geothermal is a great option for many homeowners and many situations. Wouldn't you rather invest your money in a place that will pay dividends back to you instead of throwing it away to the utility companies? Probably so. We encourage you to talk to us and find out if a geothermal system would be a good fit for you.