Many homeowners today look to go green because of rising energy costs and climate change. Remodeling can be a second chance for green energy infrastructure, and geothermal energy deserves consideration due to its affordability, effectiveness, and energy efficiency.
A 2022 survey by mortgage lender Fannie Mae found more than half of young homeowners are interested in making energy efficiency improvements if the costs can be included with their loan.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems capitalize on the constant temperature just a few feet below the earth’s surface, by drawing heating energy in from the ground in the winter and getting rid of excess heat in the summer.
As a result, geothermal systems provide a two-in-one heating and cooling solution that lowers operating costs, improves efficiency, and increases overall home value.
Here are three things home remodelers should know about geothermal as a green energy enhancement.
1. Geothermal is Simple and Effective
Geothermal heating and cooling systems are plug-and-play for existing ducted systems and are as easy as conversion for non-ducted systems as it would be for conventional equipment.
This makes geothermal a simple and effective way for remodelers to improve a home’s energy efficiency and air quality while lowering costs and reducing its carbon footprint.
Remodelers can replace an old HVAC with a geothermal system that instantly improves efficiency by up to 300%.
2. Geothermal is Cost Effective
For remodelers looking to improve their home’s carbon footprint affordably, now is the perfect time to consider geothermal.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 offers homeowners a 30% tax credit for geothermal heat pump projects installed over the next 10 years. The law allocates $8.8 billion to state energy offices, which they will distribute to homeowners remodeling with energy-efficient enhancements.
At the same time, potential homebuyers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for green energy upgrades. One study by builder Redrow Homes found that 82% of homebuyers are willing to pay premium prices for sustainability, reflecting the reality that eco-friendly remodels are often as important to potential buyers as aesthetic upgrades.
For many homeowners, a remodel that includes geothermal heating and cooling can increase home values by up to 10%, according to the latest report from Pearl, a third-party green certifier.
3. Geothermal Makes the Biggest Impact
From decreased emissions to cost-cutting results, geothermal makes the biggest impact. Remodelers enhancing homes with this green solution can expect: a 70% decrease in emissions compared to fuel-burning technology, including any fossil fuel-powered system; consistently lower costs versus natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and air source heat pumps; elongated cost savings as geothermal systems typically last up to 25 years; cleaner indoor air quality, supporting health and well-being.
Ultimately, whether remodelers look to enhance near-term living conditions, lower energy expenses, support climate outcomes, or position a home for resale, a geothermal heating and cooling solution can make a difference. The simple and effective installation, cost savings, and overall impact make it a compelling option worth considering.
Wyatt Roberts is Head of Channel Development for Dandelion Energy, a geothermal installer in the Northeast. A builder and building scientist, he is passionate about reducing the impact of our built world on the global environment.
A very light description of Geothermal, however no details about cost or longevity of systems. The temperature inside the building can’t be increased as quickly as fossil fuels. How does a retired couple afford it, they may pay very little in Federal taxes so a tax break is almost useless to them. Think about it.
Most heating systems are grossly oversized. You may be happy about that on the very cold day, but for most of the heating season, oversizing results in a system that short cycles. This is harmful to the system and shortens its life. In a hot air system, you get a blast of hot air that quickly satisfies the thermostat, but doesn't really heat the room. The hot air dissipates and the furnace comes back on again. Generally, it is better to not have deep setbacks. It is questionable whether the geothermal can be a swap-out for a regular furnace because it doesn't produce as hot air as a furnace does. How it works out financially depends on the cost of the fossil fuel being replaced , the cost of electricity to run the geothermal and the efficiency of the furnace and the geothermal system. There is a good chance the geothermal can be better financially.
without the tax incentives. Some states have zero interest loans for heating system replacements.