Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems: Are They Right for Me?
Geothermal heating and cooling systems burn no fuel and require little to no electricity. You could save yourself a lot of money by replacing your existing furnace and air conditioners with a geothermal system, especially if your furnace and air conditioners are old and running inefficiently. Read on to learn more about geothermal heating and cooling systems and how they compare to traditional furnaces and air conditioners, and learn if a geothermal system is right for you.
How Do Geothermal Systems Work?
Just twenty feet or so below the Earth’s surface, the temperature remains a constant 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter the time of year. A geothermal heating system uses the difference in temperature between the subsurface air and the air above ground to pull heat out of the ground in the winter, using to warm your house and your water. In the summer, the same system pulls heat out of your house and pushes it underground, cooling your house. A geothermal system is very simple, consisting only of a series of pipes buried underground and a heat pump to circulate a heat-trapping fluid through the pipes
Geothermal systems use only the electricity needed to operate the heat pump. They do not burn fuel to produce either heat or cooling. With these systems, you never pay for the energy you use to heat or cool your house, because it doesn’t do any heating or cooling itself. Instead, it simply moves heat from one place to another.
Long Term Costs
Because they burn no fuel, geothermal systems are a lot cheaper than furnaces and air conditioners in the long run. Geothermal heating and cooling costs should be about half of what you pay with a traditional furnace and air conditioner. You could save hundreds of dollars a year, depending on where you live.
Up- Front Costs
The one place furnaces and air conditioners have an advantage over geothermal systems is the cost of installation. Installing a geothermal system requires digging up the yard and may also include replacing other parts of your heating system. A geothermal system will likely cost almost half again as much as traditional systems. “Although the upfront costs are higher, the federal government offers a 26% tax credit on the cost of the system to help defray the costs and encourage Geothermal adoption. In addition having geothermal heating and cooling can add meaningfully to the resale value of your home, especially when you consider the rising costs of energy, and the rising temperatures we are experiencing” comments Richard Hogan retired Merrill Lynch Wealth Advisor and big proponent of geothermal systems.
Because geothermal systems burn no fuel, they emit very little in the way of greenhouse gases or other pollution. Furnaces and air conditioners produce a lot of greenhouse gases and other pollution. Even furnaces that heat your house with electricity do, because that electricity is usually made by burning some kind of fossil fuel.
If keeping up-front costs to a minimum is an issue for you, you will be better off getting a new furnace and air conditioner. If not, you’ll save a lot more money by putting in a geothermal system, and help save the planet as well.
Although the upfront costs are higher, The federal government offers a 26% tax credit on the cost of the system to help defray the costs and encourage Geothermal adoption. In addition having geothermal heating and cooling can add meaningfully to the resale value of your home, especially when you consider the rising costs of energy and the rising temperatures we are experiencing.