From Kayla on August 5th, 2010 in Air Conditioning & Heating
When Bill Davidson decided to install a geothermal heating system in his 1940′s Cape Cod last year, it was less about the money and more about his conscience. With a master’s degree in environmental management and a career centered on renewable energy, he knew it was the right choice to make. But lo and behold, it also saved him some serious money. Here’s what happened.
Davidson was already unhappy with his home’s oil heating system and lack of air conditioning when he and his wife moved in around 1980. But the sheer cost of new geothermal heat transfer technology (he was quoted $30,000 for the pump and additional installation of ducts) made him a bit apprehensive, to say the least.
Then, in 2005, the couple decided to take the plunge and install the system. Since the technology relies on using the heat from the ground to regulate the temperature in the home, they had to dig four 200-foot holes in the backyard for the water pipes. Once installed, the pipes, along with help from the pump, was able to bring the water to the surface where it could be used to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer (water in the ground consistently stays at 55 degrees).
Since installing the system, the Davidson’s have saved over $1,700 a year in energy costs.
So what makes geothermal technology a good thing to invest in today? For one, the heat pump technology that came onto the market in the ‘80s has improved greatly. In addition, while the initial cost of installation may be a bit steep, federal tax credits are being offered to mitigate the cost by 30%, significantly cutting the payback period.
Mark Shultz, owner of Earth River Geothermal, estimates that installing a geothermal system can literally cut energy costs in half. That alone makes it worth consideration.
Source: Baltimore Magazine