What is the Value of a Geothermal Heat Pump to My Home?
Any time an Eastern Oregon homeowner is considering a major investment in a new system or major appliance, it’s natural to wonder what the overall value of the investment will be. Our professionals at Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning suggest you look at value from a few different angles to determine the answer: the initial cost and installation; the ongoing maintenance, operation, and energy costs; and the added value to you and your home.
Initial Cost and Installation
There’s no doubt about it, a geothermal heat pump and heating system is significantly more expensive than a furnace and air conditioning unit or a conventional heat pump. Depending on the type of soil and property you own, you could be looking at a major investment in terms of installation costs as well. Typically, a complete geothermal heating system will run between $10,000 and $25,000 in initial costs.
However, it’s important to take into considerations a few other factors. First, geothermal systems are designed to last significantly longer than conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. On average, a geothermal heat pump will keep running for 25 years with the underground piping system lasting for more than five decades.
Second, many government incentives are currently available for homeowners who choose energy-efficient, sustainable heating and cooling systems. In February 2018, the 30 percent tax credit for geothermal systems was reinstated through 2019. The credit amount drops to 26 percent in 2020 and decreases again to 22 percent in 2021. However, Oregon homeowners should check state, local, and utility incentives in the local area for additional incentives through the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website.
Ongoing Maintenance, Operation, and Energy Costs
Compared with conventional HVAC systems, a geothermal system seldom requires major maintenance or repairs. Most geothermal providers back the equipment and installation with excellent warranties due to the unlikelihood of operation problems. This means things like emergency repairs, annual inspections, and other maintenance will drop to nearly nothing.
In addition, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states homeowners can reduce their heating costs by 30 to 70 percent and their cooling costs by 20 to 50 percent annually with a geothermal system. This could mean a yearly savings of between $400 and $1,500 on energy bills alone.
Added Value to You and Your Home
When you are asking yourself a question about the value of a system like geothermal heat, you really have two directions. One involves the value the system brings to you and your family as you reside in your home. The second is a question of whether a geothermal system will increase the price of your home, should you choose to sell it.
The first question depends on what is important to you and your family. If you can afford the initial investment, can plan to be in your home for the long haul, and can appreciate the sustainable aspect of geothermal heating, then making this investment is clearly valuable to you as a homeowner.
The second question is more complicated. Geothermal is an amenity that appraisers will refer to as contributory value. That means this value is determined by comparing home sales data between houses with similar amenities.
Although geothermal is growing in popularity, it can be challenging to find comparable homes in a specific market to form an accurate appraisal. And, in the end, if you happen to find a buyer who values your geothermal heating system, it will obviously affect your selling power.
The Bottom Line
According to industry experts, simply crunching the numbers and taking into account the initial price, installation costs, operating costs, and energy savings of a geothermal heat pump and system, you can expect to break even on your investment between five and 10 years. After that time, your ongoing energy savings will be money in your pocket.
However, it’s often not all about the numbers. Geothermal heating systems are a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way to heat and cool our homes. As the push continues for everyone to reduce their personal carbon footprint, these greener options will grow in popularity and value to more homeowners in our modern world.
Contact Us for All Your Geothermal Needs
For more information about geothermal heating systems, contact Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning in Eastern Oregon. Our professionals can share the details of this sustainable, renewable source of energy as well as answer your questions. Call us at 541-963-4316 or request service online.