Why geothermal energy could be right for your home

Why geothermal energy could be right for your home

Utility bills are huge expenses for homeowners. In fact, the US Department of Energy says nearly half of the $2,200 the average U.S. family spends on energy utility bills goes toward paying for heating and cooling.

But what if you could 30 to 60 percent on your heating costs and 20 to 50 percent on cooling costs?

You can with a geothermal energy system.

There are many reasons why your home could be better off with a geothermal energy system. Let's go through several of them.

Big savings on utilities

In the long run, a geothermal system is going to save you money both in utility bills and with special tax credits and rebates.

Geothermal heat pumps are way more efficient than 95 percent efficient natural gas furnaces - up to four times. According to Houselogic, for every $1 you spend by running a geothermal heat pump, you are actually getting $3.80 in heat.

Over time, that results in utility bill savings. Houselogic estimates you could save between $512 and $716 each year when running a geothermal system.

Check for tax credits and rebates

Geothermal energy systems qualify for a tax credit that is worth 30 percent of the installed unit price. In Iowa, you can get a 6 percent tax credit and a property tax abatement that locks in your taxes for 10 years thanks to the new equipment.

You could also qualify for other utility rebates, depending on the provider, worth up to $3,000.

Know the upfront costs

It should be noted that upfront installation costs for geothermal energy systems can be a barrier for some people. There's no way around it: They are not cheap.

As Houselogic nots, a geothermal heat pump installation for a home of about 2,000 square feet is going to cost the homeowner about $20,000. That's more than twice what a traditional heating and cooling system costs.

However, with the savings from lower utility bills, combined with extra money from tax credits and refunds, you will very likely make up that money and then some in the long run.

Geothermal energy systems are more efficient

One of the reasons geothermal systems are able to recoup the installation costs is that they are very efficient. Homeowners will likely save money month-to-month with geothermal energy because these systems are up to 500 percent efficient, meaning that for every one unit of electricity you use, you get up to five units back.

When you're heating a home, a geothermal system is way more efficient than a conventional system because it moves heat from place to place instead of burning fuel to create heat. And as for cooling, with underground temperatures staying at 50 degrees F consistently all year, geothermal systems take up much less energy to keep your home cool.

Lifespans of over 25 years

Geothermal systems usually last over 25 years before they need to be replaced. Compare that to a traditional heating and cooling system, which normally would have to be replaced in about 12 years.

With traditional systems, you'd have to pay for two replacements before you would have to update a geothermal system. With a high-efficiency system, that's a pretty competitive advantage.

The ground loop, which actually draws energy to heat and cool your home, typically lasts about 50 years.

Geothermal is better for the environment

Geothermal energy is a green choice. The Department of Energy states that they're the best system when it comes to heating and cooling your home in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

When you install a geothermal energy system, that's the equivalent of removing two cars from the street or planting 750 trees.

A geothermal heat pump also uses clean, renewable energy from the sun. This itself comes with other benefits, according to familyhandyman.com. The system does not require combustion onsite, so it doesn't emit carbon dioxide carbon monoxide or any other type of greenhouse gas. Without any combustion, you don't have to worry about related safety or air quality issues.

Other benefits to geothermal heating and cooling

Houselogic shares a few of the other miscellaneous benefits of geothermal heat pump and systems that we would be remiss to not point out.

First, geothermal heat pumps don't have as many parts and no need for outdoor condensers. This means you won't need as much maintenance to keep the system running smoothly and efficiently as the years go on.

Additionally, the actual unit that will be stored inside your house is smaller so you don't have to have a huge equipment room or other space to house them.

Finally, because they're so easy to zone, geothermal heating systems allow every part of your house to be comfortable at the same time. There won't be any more waiting for some rooms in your house to catch up to others.

Familyhandyman.com also notes that these heating and cooling systems are much quieter because there isn't a compressor or fan outside. Plus, the unit inside your house doesn't make any more noise than a refrigerator.

Potential barriers you should know

Geothermal energy systems probably are not for everyone. There's the installation cost, for one, but there are a few other possible barriers some people may encounter that rules out this option.

For starters, installing these systems simply is not something to tackle as a DIY project. A professional should be brought in to make sure you get the right unit and installation is done correctly. Otherwise, your system may not actually run as efficiently or save you as much money as possible.

The technology is also new, which creates higher prices and makes finding qualified installers more difficult. And the installation process itself is going to tear up your yard. On smaller properties, this could be a pretty significant issue.

Could Geothermal HVAC could be a possibility for your house?

The team at Comfortec, Heating, Cooling and Plumbing can help you determine whether geothermal energy could be a fit for your home in the long-run. Our professionals are qualified and experienced in this emerging technology, so you can rest assured we will give you an accurate assessment and see any future job gets done right.

Contact us to chat about your home's heating and cooling options and to see whether geothermal energy could make sense for you.

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