Has your old electric or gas heater seen better days? Are you thinking of replacing it with a new heating system? If so, why not choose a heating system that is greener and more energy efficient than your current system? You can save money and reduce your household's carbon footprint by having a geothermal heat pump system installed in your home. Take a look at some of the best reasons to make the switch to geothermal heat today.
Get a Break on Your Taxes
In order to encourage homeowners to switch to green methods of heating, both federal and state governments offer a tax credit for homeowners that make the switch to geothermal heat. The federal tax credit is for 30% of the cost of the heating system. Each state has their own method for determining the state level tax credit. Iowa, for example, offers a tax credit of 6%. Combined with the state tax credit of 30%, Iowans who install geothermal heating systems in their home will receive more than a third of the cost of their new heating system back in tax credits.
However, these tax credits are not indefinite. They're set to expire in 2016, so it's important to act before they run out. By choosing to install a geothermal heat system this fall, you'll be able to deduct your tax credit on your upcoming tax return, rather than waiting a whole year to claim that benefit.
Unlike other HVAC systems, a geothermal heating system is not affected by the temperature of the air outdoors. This is because the outdoor part of the system is not located above ground. Instead, it's buried several feet below the earth's surface, and uses the heat from the earth to heat your home. Because underground temperatures are not affected by wind or precipitation, neither is your geothermal heat system. And because the system doesn't rely on burning fossil fuels to generate heat, using a geothermal heating system will reduce your family's overall carbon footprint.
The reliance on underground heat means that your geothermal heat system can operate significantly more efficiently than comparable above ground systems. In fact, on cold nights, a geothermal heating system can reach between 300% and 600% efficiency. Geothermal heat pumps can also cool efficiently in the summer time. These energy savings will reduce your electric bill and help offset the cost of the system.
In addition to providing more energy efficient and less expensive heat, the need to bury the main part of the geothermal heat system under the ground has one more advantage: it protects the system from damage. Because the outdoor unit is underneath the earth, it isn't likely to be damaged by sun, rain, snow, or falling debris. Therefore, the unit is very low maintenance, so you won't be paying for repairs every season the way that you would with another type of heating system.
As a result, geothermal heat systems are unusually long lasting. The internal part of the system can last as long as 25 years before it needs to be replaced. The ground loop that's installed in the ground underneath your property can last as long as 50 years. Since you'll recoup the money that you spend on the system in energy savings in only five to ten years, your geothermal heat system can result in significant additional savings for your family for decades.
The sooner you have a geothermal system installed, the sooner you'll be able to begin enjoying the benefits of the system. If you're ready to get rid of your old heater, contact an HVAC contractor to find out if a geothermal heat pump system is the right choice for your home and to continue reading more about heating options.