Geothermal HVAC Adds Real Value to Your Home

Can you add value to your home while reducing energy consumption and enjoying greater air comfort? Geothermal HVAC says, "Definitely."

More and more of us are looking for alternative ways to heat and cool our homes. We want the cleanest power available. Geothermal HVAC is the answer because as long as the earth is here, there will be geothermal energy. And if the earth isn't here, well, we have bigger things to worry about. But, geothermal HVAC isn’t all sunny uplands and blue skies. There is one dark cloud on the horizon, and that is the cost.

Once you’ve decided geothermal HVAC is the way to go, you need to consider the cost. Because geothermal heat pumps are not cheap. A typical geothermal installation can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. It can definitely be worth it though.

Costs of a Geothermal HVAC System?

Geothermal HVAC is not cheap. The installation isn't either. Your installer will first assess the land around your home to decide whether you have the space to fit a system. Installation involves digging, drilling, and laying coils. You could be looking at an overall cost of $10,000 to $20,000 just on the dirt work alone. To put it simply, a geothermal HVAC installation is going to cost you a lot of money.

To start figuring out the geothermal HVAC value addition to your home, you need to answer a few questions.

How Long are You Going to Stay in the Property?

According to the United States Census Bureau, the average American moves 11.7 times throughout their lifetime. Other studies show that homeowners stay in their current homes for 13 years on average.

If you are considering moving anytime soon, you should think again about fitting a geothermal system. The costs of geothermal are significantly higher than the price of a standard heat pump. Are you going to be in your current house long enough to recoup the investment?

Because of the higher costs, the length of time you stay in your property determines the overall real value of fitting a geothermal HVAC. Spending thousands on retrofitting a geothermal system when you are moving next year won't help you out very much.

You won’t realize the return on your investment and could potentially hand any equity gains to the new buyer. This is offset a little by the increase in the asking price of your home, but not enough to give you a return that covers your initial outlay.

Of course, folks settled in place or building for the long term have a different value proposition altogether. If you're going to gets decades from a geothermal heat pump, the benefits will definitely pay off.

How Long Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Last?

Staying where you are long term? Good! A geothermal HVAC installation should have a useful life of 25 years at minimum. With the right maintenance package in place, this can stretch to 30 or even 40 years.

The coils embedded in the ground have a usable lifespan of 50 years plus. It all adds up to a decent return on your investment. Standard heat pumps and air conditioners last about 15 years, so you might find yourself replacing your HVAC twice before the geothermal system needs attention. Particularly unlucky people might replace a conventional HVAC system three or more times before a similar geothermal HVAC system goes bad.

Geothermal HVAC Annual Savings

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), your annual energy-savings should be somewhere between 30 and 60 percent. They break down these costs to a saving of between 30 and 70 percent on heating and 20 to 50 percent on cooling. It translates to a yearly saving of between $400 and $1,500. Which is a lot.

A typical American family stays in their home for about 13 years. Only assuming you use it that long and for the minimum savings means you save $5000. The best case scenario means you save around $19,000. Chances are you will be somewhere in the middle though with savings of about $12,000.

Combined with the savings you can get from federal renewable energy incentives and the average cost of a typical HVAC installation, a geothermal heat pump really starts to make sense.

Geothermal HVAC Renewable Energy Incentives

Do your research before you buy your ground source heat pump. Get to know the kind of incentives, rebates, or grants available through the federal, state, or local government schemes. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) to get a clearer picture of what is on offer.

Also, speak to your mortgage broker and local energy companies about getting funding for installing new renewable energy technology. Some banks offer energy-efficient mortgages designed to help you finance your installation. It is especially useful if you are building a home and want to take advantage of the incentives on offer.

The point of renewable energy schemes is that for every dollar you save, it adds a dollar or more to your home's value. The trade-off will be that these schemes often lock you into a time frame that dictates how long you stay in the property. This measure is to deter any investor buyers who are looking to take advantage of free money and then make a quick buck by immediately selling the house at an inflated price.

Geothermal HVAC Effect on Home Resale Value

When it comes to increasing the value of your home, geothermal HVAC has the approval of the eco-movement. Fans of green energy will love the fact that by purchasing your home, they will be doing their bit to save the planet. As we said at the start, as long as there is an earth, there will be geothermal energy.

Seek the advice of your local real estate agents, and if you are trying to sell your home, make geothermal one of the main selling features. Buyers are attracted to houses that save them money long term. People always look at the utilities on a property they are interested in buying. Now just imagine how good your utility bill will look to people used to paying conventional HVAC prices.

And for those who have less interest in green energy, savings are savings, no matter where they come from.

What Buyers Want

Buyers choose homes that make financial sense. Buyers are also looking for the latest appliances. Geothermal HVAC fulfills both wants. It is the most up to date technology available and is seen as reliable and clean, as well as cost-efficient. Your property looks more attractive to buyers, and you can increase the sales price too.

Final Thoughts on Geothermal HVAC

Geothermal HVAC is not a magic bullet that will increase the value of your home or pay for itself the minute you install it. As with most investments like this, it takes time to realize any profit.

They say you have to speculate to accumulate, and with a ground source heat pump, this is a fact. The initial costs are so high; you are going to need to stay in your home for ten years plus to reap any benefit and negate the purchase cost. However, those who do that realize real savings.

Do you have questions about your property value and geothermal HVAC? Just ask us in the comments below.

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