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How Much Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Cost?

Geothermal Heat Pump Prices

If you're looking to install a new home heating and cooling system that is environmentally friendly and will drastically reduce your energy costs, consider a geothermal heat pump (also known as a ground source heat pump, a geoexchange heat pump, or a water-source heat pump). While the initial cost of geothermal heat pump installation can be quite high, many homeowners agree that the price is one worth paying. To learn more about geothermal heat pumps and costs, continue reading.

How Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Work?

To begin, it's important to understand that heat pumps do not create hot or cold air (like a furnace or boiler and central air conditioner in a forced air system do). What a heat pump does is move heat between the inside and the outside of a home, raising or lowering the temperature as the seasons (and residents' preferences) dictate.

While an air-to-air heat pump exchanges indoor air for outdoor air, a geothermal heat pump instead uses air contained a few feet below the surface of the earth, air that maintains a relatively stable temperature year-round, as the exchange medium. While there are several different types of geothermal heat pump systems, the basic system components are underground pipe/tubing, a heat exchanger, and antifreeze solutions or refrigerants. During the winter months, heat is extracted from the earth and moved into the home, whereas the opposite holds true during the summer (heat is removed from the indoor air and pumped into the earth).

Geothermal heat pumps generally run on electricity. Although there are systems that both heat and cool, and even those that can heat your water, some are designed to provide heat only. They can also be combined with an air-source heat pump to create what's known as a "dual-source system", an appealing option to many because they cost less than geothermal installation alone.

The Benefits of a Geothermal Heat Pump System

Whichever type of geothermal home heating solution you choose, count on it to provide the following advantages:

  • Durability and Reliability: With few moving parts, geothermal heat pump systems can last for up to 50 years or more with minimal maintenance.
  • Green Building: The EPA estimates that a geothermal heating system can reduce your energy consumption by 50 percent or more compared to traditional electric heating and cooling systems.
  • Numerous Installations: Whether you're engaged in new construction or home renovation, you have lots of land or a relatively small parcel; you'll have no problem geothermal heat pump installation thanks to its design flexibility and space-saving hardware.

Geothermal Heat Pump Average Costs

The actual geothermal heat pump installation cost will vary depending on your location, the type and quality of the system installed, the amount of excavation required, and other factors.

  • Geothermal heat pumps cost $10,000 to $30,000 or more installed. Note that the bulk of costs come from installation; the heat pump itself might only cost $4,000 to $8,000. While a price in this range can cause some initial sticker shock, it is estimated that the typical installation pays for itself in energy savings within 5-10 years.
  • The cost of geothermal heat pump installation can be partially offset by an EnergyStar tax credit of 30%. Learn more at EnergyStar.gov.

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