The ground temperate is a constant that you can use to heat and cool your house. Over the summer the deep ground temperature is warmer than the air and into he summer it is cooler. The 'ground-source heat pump system' uses underground water from a 1,000-foot deep well and pumps, that are basement heat exchangers to move the water.
The system uses no fossil fuels and provide comfort year-round, with zero CO2 emissions, for a fraction of the operating cost of conventional HVAC systems. Geothermal systems also have fewer moving parts than conventional systems, so they are more reliable and require less maintenance, so they last for decades. As a rule of thumb, complete systems run about $2500 to $3500 per 500 square feet of living space. So, a complete geo-thermal system for an average size 2,500 sq. ft. home would run between $12,500 and $17,500. Geo-thermal for larger homes could easily cost $25,000 to $30,000.
The ROI Calculation is based on spending $30,000 to save $250 per month in heating and cooling bills. Many states offer financial incentives to individuals and families looking to make their homes more energy efficient. These incentives range from low interest loans to comprehensive grants that cover all costs. To find if your state offers these programs, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE): Click Here. You can save even more if you consider buying a model that is eligible for a tax credit.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides you with a 30% Tax Credit for Geothermal Heat Pumps that are put into service by the end of 2016. This tax credit item is for existing homes or new construction. This does not have to be your primary residence, as vacations and rentals are eligible, and it includes the cost of materials and installation.
3 KEY POINTS -
- The tax credit cap is $1,500 on collective home improvement elements other than Geo-Thermal 'Ground Source' Heat Pumps, Solar Hot Water Heating, Solar Photovoltaic, and Fuel Cell systems - which each have no cap and are eligible through 2016.
- The tax credits for exterior 'weatherization' improvements like windows, doors and insulation do not include the cost of installation!
- If you reach the $1,500 cap in 2009, you are not eligible for additional tax credits in 2010.
Choose Geothermal Heat Pumps that meet these criteria to get the Tax Credit; and check products carefully, because in many cases an ENERGY STAR certification does not necessarily meet the tax credit requirements below:
Geothermal Heat Pumps: All Energy Star models qualify.
Close Loop – A ground heat exchanger in which the heat transfer fluid is permanently contained in a closed system.
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) must be at or above 14.1.
- Coefficient of Performance must be at or above 3.3.
Open Loop – A ground heat exchanger in which the heat transfer fluid is part of a larger environment. The most common open loop systems use ground water or surface water as the heat transfer medium.
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) must be at or above 16.2.
- Coefficient of Performance must be at or above 3.6.
Direct Expansion – A geothermal heat pump system in which the refrigerant is circulated in pipes buried in the ground, rather than using a heat transfer fluid, such as water or antifreeze solution in a separate closed loop, and fluid to refrigerant heat exchanger. A DX system includes all of the equipment both inside and outside the house. DX systems may be single or multi-speed.
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) must be at or above 15.
- Coefficient of Performance must be at or above 3.5.
Look for Geothermal integration to combine a Furnace, Air Conditioner, and Boiler together in one system. You get forced air heating and cooling, plus the system generates hot water for radiant floors.
For Sample Results and Top Systems: Click Here
See the Tax Credits: Click Here
For a Directory by State of 'Green' Builders, Utility/Sponsors, and Lenders: Click Here