5 Things to Know About Geothermal Heating
1. Geothermal Heating is Already a Reality
Though you might not see hydrogen-powered cars rolling through your neighborhood in the next year, geothermal heating is one technology that is not just available, but growing in popularity. HomeAdvisor, an online resource linking homeowners to contractors in their area, reports that requests for geothermal heating system installations have increased by 266 percent since last year. Additionally, the U.S. government’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Consumer’s Guide estimates that, “There are approximately 50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year.”
2. Geothermal Heating is Affordable
Sure, the initial investment in a geothermal system is more expensive than a conventional heat pump. However, this investment pays off over time. In the same EERE document, our government suggests that the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5-10 years. This means that not only will installing one of these systems be a benefit to the environment, it will eventually benefit your wallet, too.
As an added bonus, homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious every year. If and when you decide to sell your home, having an eco-friendly heating system in place might be a big selling point for prospective buyers.
3. Geothermal Heat is a Permanent Solution
The inside components of a geothermal system are generally expected to last about 25 years. The outdoor and underground components of these systems should last twice as long. Try finding a furnace that will last 50 years!
4. Geothermal Heat Pumps can Cool Your Home, Too!
What’s better than heating your home using a natural, renewable, clean energy? How about cooling it, too? Geothermal heat pumps can heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer using the same system of ductwork. At the flip of a switch, you can change your indoor temperature from July to January, all the while knowing you’re doing your part to reduce pollution—as well as your monthly energy bills.
Note: Depending on the type of unit you install, a geothermal system may be able to heat your hot water as well as heat and cool your home.
5. There’s Never been a Better Time to Install Geothermal Heating
The easiest to install, most efficient, and most affordable geothermal heat pumps ever created are on the market right now. Additionally, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act has made installing geothermal heating systems even more desirable by offering incentives to homeowners as well as businesses who install them. For individual residences, installing a geothermal system could get you a credit of up to $2,000 on your total installation cost.
Note: Anyone who upgraded to geothermal heat (or installed any of several other eco-friendly options like solar and wind power) after Dec. 31st 2007 may be eligible for this credit if their system meets Energy Star requirements. Some homeowners may be able to receive even more monetary incentives through their state government.
With geothermal heating growing more popular, there’s a good chance that even the initial cost of this clean, sustainable energy will be more affordable in the future. As the presence of this and other alternative energies become more accessible, we draw ever closer to the ultimate goal: keeping the lifestyle we enjoy without robbing future generations of a healthy planet.