Many of the available federal energy tax credits expired at the end of 2011, with a few exceptions, including the geothermal heat pump (GHP) credit. When homeowners install a new GHP that meets the criteria for the credit, they’re eligible to receive a 30 percent credit on the purchase, the installation and the labor involved, with no cap on any of the costs.
This credit translates to a nearly immediate financial gain and also a long-term investment that will save you substantially in heating and cooling costs, as well as equipment. The tax credit also applies to second or vacation homes, and you can include an optional geothermal water heater as part of the package.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a geothermal heat pump can save 50 percent on conditioning bills, summer and winter, and more if you rely on heating with electricity alone. Its efficiency comes from the fuel source. Heat pumps use technology that move heat from one place to another, and a geothermal model uses the constant temperatures below ground from the earth or water as their source for removing or picking up heat. The GHP only uses electricity to run the components, and relies on free thermal energy underground for the heating and cooling.
Besides taking advantage of the energy tax credit, you’ll also be installing a system that is highly durable. Geothermal heat pumps typically use an underground loop field to add or remove heat. This field can last as long as 50 years. The indoor air handler can run for 25 years with proper maintenance. A GHP doesn’t use an outdoor condenser, which lowers equipment and operating costs, as well as giving you a quiet backyard.
New installation technology has made it possible to install geothermal heat pumps in even small backyards. Instead of going horizontal, installers go deep underground, which helps more homeowners use these extremely energy-efficient systems.
If you’d like to learn more about the energy tax credit and how a geothermal heat pump can benefit your Metro-East area home, contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about geothermal heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock