Geothermal heating and cooling systems, or geothermal heat pumps, are reliable, efficient, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective home comfort systems. So, why doesn’t everyone have one?
Well, not all homes are suited for this system. There are several factors—from property and landscape to budget—that determine whether geothermal heating and cooling is right for you.
Here are a few factors that will help determine if a geothermal system is a good fit for your home.
Property & Landscape
Much of the sun’s energy is absorbed and stored in the ground. Geothermal pumps take advantage of that by recycling the heat from below the Earth’s surface to serve as an efficient heating and cooling source for your home. The thing is, in order to obtain that energy, drilling must occur.
Before deciding on a geothermal heating and cooling system, you must consider whether or not your property can support the installation. These systems require a series of underground pipes, either horizontally across your yard, or suspended vertically through a series of ~200 feet deep holes. If you live on a large lot with a pond or a well, installation will be effortless. But, other landscapes, and even certain soils, can make this installation incredibly difficult, or completely impossible.
Bottom line: If you live on a very small lot, geothermal may not work for you. Consult a professional to have your property evaluated.
Upfront Cost vs. Long-term Savings
Geothermal heat pumps can save you a large chunk of cash on your monthly utilities bill (especially if you maintain them properly), as well as give you mega tax credits and rebates! However, there is a downside. These systems are on the expensive side and installation can be a complex process. A professional is needed every step of the way for sizing, design, and installation. Often, the installation process requires follow up with landscape work as well.
Really, it’s a battle between upfront cost and long-term savings.
It can take anywhere from as little as four years , to as many as twelve years recoup the initial costs for installation through energy savings. If you can stomach the upfront costs and plan to live in your house for at least ~4 to 7 years (for new construction) or ~10 to 12 (for retrofit), then geothermal heating and cooling may be for you.
This should give you a good start, but it will definitely take some homework and some consulting with professionals to figure out whether a geothermal system is right for you.
If you have any questions about geothermal heat pumps, home comfort, or energy savings, contact Comfort Tech today. Our expert opinions can help you decide whether geothermal HVAC is a good fit for your home.
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