While a geothermal system is not cheap to install – for a typical single-family residence, in the neighborhood of $25K, consider:
- Tax credits may be available to offset approximately half of that investment:
-Currently, there is a 30% Federal tax credit for qualified residential installations. This expires December 31, 2016 but we expect Congress will extend it (as they have done for solar and wind)
-We expect New York State to offer a 25% tax credit (to a maximum of $5000) in 2016. (A bill was passed by the legislature in 2015 but vetoed by the Governor as it was not included in the State’s budget.)
- A geothermal system is very inexpensive to operate and lasts a long time, as compared to conventional fossil-fueled systems.
-A well-designed and maintained geothermal system will be 400 to 500% efficient, i.e. for every unit of energy used to operate the system, four to five units are produced (to heat or cool). Conventional systems (e.g. natural gas, propane, heating oil furnaces) are less than 100% efficient.
-Authorities estimate that geothermal heat pumps will last 20 to 30 years, the earth loop 50 years or more, as compared to 15 to 20 years for most fossil-fueled furnaces.
- A geothermal system can provide auxiliary heat to your hot water system. During the cooling season, this is essentially free as heat extracted from the home can be redirected to the hot water system before being transferred to the earth.
- The added value to your home from installing a geothermal system is exempt from most property taxes in New York State
Because a geothermal system uses the earth as its heat source (or heat sink in cooling mode), the only energy required is electricity to run the pump(s), compressor, and fan (for a forced-air distribution system). So its carbon footprint is very low and could be zero depending on the source of electricity.
Comfort and Safety:
Relative to fossil-fueled systems, a geothermal system:
- Creates more consistent temperatures throughout the building as it operates at a lower temperature and, thus, significantly reduces the temperature swings when the furnace turns on or off. In fact, a well-designed geothermal system with a variable-speed compressor should be running almost continuously.
- Eliminates the inherent risks associated with combustible fuel sources – carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, and explosion – from the heating & cooling process.
- Can be fairly easily be “zoned”, so that temperatures in sections (e.g. individual rooms or floors) of the building can be controlled independently.
- Can be configured to heat other elements of your home besides the building, e.g. your domestic hot water system; the surfaces of your porch, sidewalk, and/or driveway; your swimming pool and/or hot tub.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with geothermal system design, engineering and installation.