How Will I Save Money With A Geothermal Heat Pump?

Geothermal heat pumps save money, both in operating costs and maintenance costs. Investments can be recouped in as little as three years. There is positive cash flow, since the energy savings usually exceeds payments on the system. There are also tax incentives as well. See our Rebates & Incentives page for more details.

How Much Does A Geothermal System Cost?

The initial investment for geothermal systems is greater than that of a conventional system. However, when you consider the operating costs of a geothermal heating, cooling and water heating system, energy savings quickly offset the initial difference in purchase price.

Are There Geothermal Tax Credits?

Tax credits! If you choose to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home, you are eligible for a tax credit equal to 30% of the total installation cost. So in addition to the monthly energy savings you will realize with your high-efficiency Geothermal System, you will receive a 30% credit on the upfront installation costs of your home system. Geothermal systems installed within commercial properties are eligible for a federal tax credit equal to 10% of the total installation cost.

How Long Will The Geothermal Pipe Loop Last?

Geothermal systems use the industry standard high-density polyethylene pipe. This pipe is often times guaranteed by the manufacturer to be free from leaks for 55 years and is expected to last beyond 100 years. To learn more about the different pipe loop installations, visit our geothermal loop installation page.

What Other Costs Are There Besides The Geothermal System?

You can expect an installation charge for any electrical work, ductwork, water hook-up, and other provisions or adaptations to your home that are required. Your installer can estimate these costs in advance.

How Would Increased Use Of Geothermal Systems Affect Electricity Costs And Availability?

The reduced peak load requirements would allow utilities to serve more customers and to lower fixed costs per customer, thus offsetting some increased variable costs. This would result in less cost per kilowatt, since fixed investment for new capacity is high.

Jump Back to Top of Page

Geothermal Heat Pump Installation Questions




How Much Space Does A Geothermal System Require?

The geothermal heat pump unit inside the home is about the same size as a traditional heating and cooling unit. Most of the rest of the installation is buried underground so it depends on which system is used.

Can Geothermal Systems Be Used For Commercial Buildings Or Apartment Complexes?

Yes, multiple systems can be installed by hooking them up to an array of buried vertical or horizontal loops, thus simplifying zone control and internal load balancing.

Are Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Difficult To Install?

Most units are easy to install, especially when they are replacing another forced-air system. This is known as a retrofit. Geothermal heat pumps can be installed in areas unsuitable for fossil fuel furnaces because there is no combustion and thus no need to vent exhaust fumes. Ductwork must be installed in homes without an existing air distribution system. Your dealer or installer can assess the cost of installing ductwork.

Can I Install A Geothermal Heat Pump System Myself?

It’s not recommended. Thermal fusion of the pipe, drilling and trenching are procedures best handled by licensed professionals. Non professional installations may result in less than optimum performance, which could cancel out anticipation savings.

How Far Apart Are Trenches And Vertical Boreholes Spaced?

Trenches are spaced four to five feet apart while boreholes are spaced ten to fifteen feet apart.

How Long Does It Take To Install A Horizontal Geothermal System?

This depends on soil conditions, length and depth of pipe, and equipment required. A typical installation can be completed in one or two days.

How Long Does It Take To Install A Vertical Geothermal System?

With the vertical installation, time varies with conditions on the site such as type and depth of the overburden, type and hardness of the bedrock, and the presence of aquifers. Typical drilling times are one or two days; total installation can usually be accomplished in two days.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Horizontal And Vertical Installations, Respectively?

Horizontal installations are simpler, requiring lower cost equipment. However, they require longer lengths of pipe due to seasonal variations in soil temperature and moisture content. Since a horizontal heat exchanger is laid out in trenches, a larger area is usually required than for a vertical geothermal system. Where land is limited, vertical installations or horizontal installation can be ideal. If regional soil conditions include extensive hard rock, a vertical installation may be the only available choice.

Vertical installations tend to be more expensive due to the increased cost of drilling versus trenching, but since the heat exchanger is buried deeper than with a horizontal system, vertical systems are usually more efficient and can get by with less total pipe. Your geothermal contractor at Hoffmann Brothers will be able to help you decide which configuration best meets your specific needs.

Jump Back to Top of Page

Geothermal Environmental Questions

How Do Gshps Protect The Environment?

GSHP systems conserve natural resources by providing climate control very efficiently-thus also lowering emissions. GSHPs also minimize ozone layer destruction by using factory-sealed refrigeration systems, which will seldom or never have to be recharged.

What Are The Environmental Benefits Of GSHP Systems?

Currently installed systems are making a huge difference in our environment! The systems are eliminating more than three million tons of carbon dioxide and is equivalent of taking 650,000 automobiles off the road. GSHP systems conserve energy and, because they move heat that already exists rather than burning something to create heat, they reduce the amount of toxic emissions in the atmosphere. They use renewable energy from the sun, and because the system doesn’t rely on outside air, it keeps the air inside of buildings cleaner and free from pollens, outdoor pollutants, mold spores, and other allergens.

Geothermal Questions Concerning your Home

Will My Existing Ductwork Function With My New Geothermal System?

Yes, in most cases. Hoffmann Brothers will be able to determine ductwork requirements and if any minor modifications are needed.

Will An Underground Loop Affect My Lawn Or Landscape?

No. Research has shown that loops have no adverse effects on grass, trees, or shrubs. Most horizontal geothermal installations require trenches about six inches wide. Temporary bare areas can be restored with grass seed or sod. Vertical geothermal loops require little space and do not damage lawns significantly.

I Have A Pond Near My Home. Can I Put A Geothermal Energy Loop In It?

Yes, it is recommended that the pond contain a minimum of eight feet of dept at its lowest level during the year and have ¼ to ½ of an acre of surface area.

My Yard Contains Many Shade Trees. Will This Affect Ground Temperature And My Ability To Use It As An Energy Source?

Not at all, the geothermal system is installed deep enough that it utilizes constant ground temperature.

Can I Put The Loop Under My Septic System?

This practice is discouraged. The geothermal earth loop may drop below freezing in the winter and could damage your septic system.

If The Geothermal Loop Falls Below Freezing, Will It Hurt The System?

No, the antifreeze solution in the loop will prevent freezing down to approximately 15 degrees F. Hoffmann Brothers uses Environol or methanol as the antifreeze.

Can A Geothermal Heat Pump System Be Added To My Fossil Fuel Furnace?

Yes. Called dual systems, they can easily be added to existing furnaces for those wishing to have a dual-fuel heating system. Dual-fuel systems use the geothermal heat pump system as the main heating source, and a fossil fuel furnace as a supplement in extremely cold weather should additional heat be needed.

Will I Have To Add Insulation To My Home If I Install A Geothermal System?

Geothermal systems will reduce your heating and cooling costs regardless of how well your home is insulated. However, insulating and weatherizing are key factors in gaining the maximum amount of savings from any type of heating and cooling system.

How Does A Geothermal Heat Pump Also Heat Water For My House?

Using what is called a desuperheater, geothermal heat pumps can save you up to 75 percent of your water-heating bill by pre-heating the water. When the geothermal system is operating, it pulls water from the water heater and circulates it through a heat exchanger and returns the warmed water back to the tank. Some geothermal models can provide all of your hot water needs on demand at the same high efficiencies of the forced air models.

Jump Back to Top of Page

Can One Geothermal System Provide Both Space Heating And Cooling For My Home? And What About Heating Hot Water?

Yes, a geothermal heat pump can be a combination heating, cooling and hot water heating system. You can change from one mode to another with a simple flick on your indoor thermostat. Using a desuperheater, some geothermal heat pumps can save you up to 50% on your water-heating bill by preheating tank water.

How Does A Geothermal Heat Pump System Heat Water For My Home?

Using what is called a desuperheater, a geothermal heat pump turns waste heat to the task of heating hot water. During the summer, when the system is in cooling mode, your hot water is produced free as a byproduct of the thermal process. In winter, with the heating mode, the desuperheater heats a portion of your hot water. Desuperheaters are standard on some units, optional on others. Stand-alone systems that will heat water all year can be purchased.

How Much Space Does A Geothermal Unit Require?

Most of the geothermal system installations are underground. Inside the house, the heat pump units are about the same size as a traditional heating and cooling unit.

What are the Advantages of Geothermal Energy? – Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons

Jump Back to Top of Page