How Efficient is Geothermal Heating?
The future of fossil fuels remains uncertain. It’s unclear how much the cost of fossil fuels will fluctuate in the upcoming years. There’s also genuine concern that before long, fossil fuels simply won’t be available. It’s estimated that the world will run out of natural gas in 50-60 years and that coal supplies will dwindle to nothing in about 100 years. The worry over the cost, availability, and environmental ramifications of fossil fuels continues an investigation to explore alternate sources of heating. Geothermal heating is one such alternative. But, “Is geothermal heating efficient?”
How Geothermal Heating Works
Many homeowners are surprised when they discover that vertical loop geothermal heating systems work in a manner that’s similar to a traditional heating system. The geothermal system contains a water or antifreeze solution that is constantly pushed through the pipes that make up the heating system. During the winter months, the cool air is deposited underground, keeping your living area warm as toast.
One of the secondary benefits connected to a geothermal heating system is how quiet the unit is, especially in comparison to a traditional forced-air heating system. Most people report that their geothermal system doesn’t generate any more ambient noise than their refrigerator and is easily ignored.
In most cases, the geothermal heating systems have to go 300 feet underground to provide the proper heat dispensation.
How Efficient Is Geothermal Heating
When the topic of geothermal heating comes up, the first thing people want to know is how efficient it is.
It’s important to understand that the exact amount of efficiency you’ll experience from a geothermal system depends on the system you opt for, your home, and the type of heating/cooling system you’re currently using.
Most homeowners report that their geothermal heating system reduced their monthly heating/cooling bills by 50-80%.
The Costs Connected to Geothermal Heating
The biggest cost connected to geothermal heating is the installation cost. The installation cost can range from $18,000 to $30,000. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of a geothermal heating system is $2,500 per ton. Most homes require a system that weighs three to five tons.
The good news is that the Federal Incentive Program helps offsets the cost of installing a geothermal heating system by providing a 26% tax credit, which has been extended through 2023.
The next thing to consider is the annual cost of repair and maintenance work on the geothermal heating system. These systems are built to last for a long time and to function with minimal repair. At most, they should only need repair work about once a year. The average cost of yearly repair or maintenance work is less than $250. Most of the repairs usually involve replacing parts that have worn out, and the cost of replacement parts usually isn’t very high. For example, if the fan has stopped working, a replacement switch usually costs less than $100, and the fan itself usually costs about $50.
The most expensive parts to repair and replace are the heat pump, the reversing valve, and the compressor. Luckily, these parts are well made and seldom break down.
How Long Before the Geothermal Heating System Pays for Itself
While it’s perfectly natural to reconsider having a geothermal heating system installed after learning about the installation costs, most homeowners are happy they stuck to their original decision and invested in the system. In most cases, it doesn’t take long for the system to pay for itself.
Several factors influence how long it takes for a geothermal system to pay for itself. These factors include the overall installation costs, the type and condition of the system the geothermal unit replaced, and how the overall temperature the homeowner prefers. Homeowners who have a home that’s about 1,500 square feet report that the geothermal system pays for itself in 5-10 years.
Another important thing to keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of installing a geothermal heating system is that the average system lasts a full 20 years longer than a traditional HVAC unit.
Given the potential benefits of a geothermal heating system in Beaumont, TX, it’s in your best interest to contact Reed Service Company right away. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can answer all of your heating and cooling questions. We’re also happy to look at your situation and provide you with both an installation estimate and a prediction about how much the geothermal heating system will lower your utility bills.