The Geothermal Heat Pump: Weighing Up-Front Cost Against Long-Term Savings

geothermal heat pump, Long Island, New YorkIt seems like everyone is talking about energy efficiency these days, and with good reason. Energy costs are on the rise, and some of the fuels that give us energy are bad for the environment. It just makes sense to use less energy whenever we can, not only to help out our wallets but also our planet.

When you’re looking into ways to cool and heat your home while conserving energy, a geothermal heat pump can provide the savings and environmental benefits you’re looking for.

Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the fact that just a few feet underground a fairly constant temperature of about 50 to 60 degrees is maintained all year long. In a typical geothermal system, loops of pipe that contain water and anti-freeze are buried in the ground. The liquid cycles from your home through the pipes and back. In the summer, the heat picked up from your home is expelled into the ground. In the winter, the liquid gains heat from the ground and brings it back to your home. The end result is a comfortable home with significantly less energy usage than when you use traditional heating or cooling systems.

Although a geothermal heat pump is more expensive initially than regular air conditioners, heat pumps or furnaces, the energy savings are substantial. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical home may see a savings of between 30 and 60 percent off energy costs per year when upgrading from a standard HVAC system to geothermal. Depending on how much energy you use and other factors, your geothermal heat pump could pay for itself in two to 10 years.

In addition, Energy Star-qualified geothermal heat pumps will get you a 30 percent federal tax credit on purchase and installation, with no limit on the amount the tax credit applies to.

When buying a geothermal heat pump, look for the Energy Star label to make sure you’re getting the most energy-efficient model available.

For more expert advice on geothermal heat pumps or other HVAC matters at your Long Island home, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).   For more information about other HVAC topics,  download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.