Replacing a home heating system is one of the biggest investments a homeowner will make. Choosing one that is cost effective and efficient, like a geothermal system, will likely increase the long-term value of the home and be an attractive feature to both eco-conscious and cost-conscious consumers.
Green is good for Home Values
Data from a variety of sources indicates that efficient, “green” homes are in high demand. More than two dozen states have enacted rebate programs for energy efficient homes, further reducing homeowners’ costs. The National Association of REALTORS has also partnered with several other organizations to have the MLS real estate listing system better reflect the assets that come with sustainable homes. The group even created a Green MLS Tool Kit to help buyers find homes that are energy efficient and have a low-carbon footprint. It also helps sellers promote the features of their green home, and gives a better comparison benchmark for home appraisals.
Many homeowners are drawn to green homes not just for their reduced impact on the environment, but for their reduced maintenance costs. Geothermal systems do not directly burn fossil fuels, which means homeowners no longer have to feel the seasonal pain of buying heating oil or seeing their natural gas rates go up. Geothermal systems also require less maintenance, further reducing the cost to homeowners.
Studies seem to indicate that installing a geothermal system has a neutral to positive effect on home value, however, there are some in the real estate industry that remain skeptical of the benefits of green technologies.
The potential value an amenity like a geothermal system adds to a home is called Contributory Value. The main ways real estate appraisers determine Contributory Value of amenities is by using data on home sales from the surrounding area. Because geothermal systems are often hard to find in comparable homes that have sold recently, finding concrete data can be difficult. Many realtors and appraisers will not be able to give you a firm answer on whether a geothermal system will increase the value of a home, leaving some homeowners feeling uneasy.
Some realtors believe that potential home buyers may be scared away from homes with geothermal systems because they are not familiar with the technology. Others may see geothermal as a normal HVAC system and not recognize the significance of the energy savings and green technology. If you do decide to sell a home with a geothermal system, it’s important to make sure the selling agent is familiar with geothermal systems and the cost-saving potential they hold, as well as the environmental benefits.
Know the Benefits of a Geothermal System
There are a number of online resources that homeowners and real estate agents can use to get people quickly up to speed on the benefits of these systems. In addition to their low operating costs, geothermal systems are very quiet. You will no longer hear clunking in the basement or loud fans running outdoors during a summer gathering. Geothermal systems also have low emissions and do not pose a risk of emitting poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
Skillings & Sons has installed close to 500 geothermal systems for a variety of homes and buildings. Our technicians are certified to install both closed loop vertical and standing column systems. If you have questions about these systems, how they are installed and whether your home might be a good fit for a geothermal HVAC system, call us today.