A Guide to Geothermal for Home Owners: Pay a Little More Now, Save a Lot More Later

In our last post, we mentioned the massive geothermal ground-source heat pump installation underway at Ball State in Muncie. Coincidentally, the next day, we received a Google news alert with a link to the article Construction of the Largest U.S. Geothermal Heat Pump System Underway, by Chris Williams, a Certified Geothermal Installer and Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring Learning Institute, on the blog ThinkProgress.

The article touches on a number of topics, including the role of ground source heat pumps in the U.S., the state of the geothermal heat pump industry, and the importance of the Ball State Geothermal Project to the future development of geothermal technology.

According the Williams, “In 1993, the EPA call geothermal  “the most efficient, environmentally clean, and cost effective space conditioning system today.” While the technology has been known for decades, the size of the Ball State project proves that geothermal installers and designers are gaining confidence to implement the technology on a massive scale and are winning the trust of risk-averse property owners.”

But the most interesting thing we discovered from the article was The Information Survival Kit for the Prospective Geothermal Heat Pump Owner, written by Kevin Rafferty, P.E., and distributed by the HeatSpring Learning Institute. This comprehensive, informative, 32 page guide is a must-have for any home owner seriously considering installing a geothermal heat pump. It explains in detail:

  • How geothermal works and its various use options, including water heating and snow melting
  • Differences between various geothermal systems
  • Pros and cons of ground loop layout options
  • How to calculate the size and type system needed based on Heating Degree Days (HDD)
  • Equipment and installation costs
  • How to calculate approximate operating cost savings:
    For example, in Indianapolis, with an HDD rating of between 5,000 and 6,000, annual space heating for an average 2,200 sq. ft. home, based on fuel source, would cost (approx.):
    • Propane – $1,440
    • Fuel Oil – $1,460
    • Natural Gas – $750
    • Ground-source heat pump – $330

It doesn’t take an Einstein to do this math. At a saving of more than $1,000 a year, the additional cost to install a geothermal heat pump should be offset in a few years. After that, it’s all gravy; you get to put those savings in your bank account, not the utility company’s.

Download the free “Geothermal Survival Kit” (Printer-friendly PDF opens in new window)

And don’t forget the 30% Federal tax rebate on the purchase of a qualified ENERGY STAR-rated heat pump.

Visit the Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning website for more information about geothermal heating and cooling systems. For a free in-home evaluation of your existing furnace and the benefits of a new geothermal heat pump, call 317-639-1111 to schedule an appointment.