Like most things, the cost of the whole thing is the bottom line deciding factor. But direct initial costs cannot be the only comparison.
Geothermal systems will usually cost more to install initially, but will easily pay themselves off over time just in money saved from cheap operation. The typical payback period we are seeing is usually 3-6 years, depending on your situation.
Huge federal and state discounts are available specifically for these systems, and when paired with a renewable energy loan, can potentially cost you no extra money per year to install and heat with a geothermal system, AND pay back the loan. All of that for the same cost of just heating your house with a conventional system.
The operating costs of a geothermal system are roughly 1/3rd of the operating costs of a traditional heating system. So instead of paying $3000 per year to heat your home, you could be paying around $1000.
With the renewable system, you are using ‘free’ energy directly from the earth, and the only operational cost is the electricity needed to transfer that energy from the earth into your home.
The instant the geothermal system is installed, it saves a significant amount of money over the conventional system.
Geothermal Tax Credits
Now is the absolute best time to take advantage of huge tax credits for geothermal heat pumps.
There is currently a 30% federal tax credit towards the installation of a ground source heat pump in a residence. Thats money straight off of your taxes.
There is also many state rebates and incentives for ground source heat pumps, and they can all be found at the DSIRE website.
Renewable Energy Loans
With the large stimulus recently passed by the federal government, there is an abundance of money set aside by state programs for renewable energy loans. These loans are becoming more and more readily available, and are offered at low fixed rates. With the energy savings associated with geothermal heating, the principal and interest of the loan can be paid, and then some. Many homeowners are enjoying a geothermal heating system without the large upfront fee, and are still in the positive with money while paying back the principal and interest on the loan.
The bottom line is a geothermal heating system will save you thousands of dollars per year on heating costs. No longer with you have to worry about the volatility of heating fuel costs and availability. No longer will you be worried about the environmental affects of heating your home.
The value added to your home from a renewable heating system is also a great bonus.
Geothermal heating is clean, cheap and efficient heating in almost any situation.