A home’s heating system is one of the first things potential homebuyers want to know about when viewing a property. In New England, an old oil furnace can cost vastly more to maintain than a newer efficient system. Geothermal is one of the most efficient home heating options available today. Real estate agents should know how these systems work. Although they cost more to install than standard fossil fuel systems, the cost to operate and maintain geothermal systems is very low.
Homebuyers may be unfamiliar with geothermal heating systems and be wary of investing in a home that uses geothermal energy, but educating buyers about their benefits can help real estate agents better market homes with this green, clean heating system.
Geothermal basics For Real Estate Agents
A geothermal exchange system uses the earth’s natural, relatively constant thermal temperature to heat, cool and provide hot water for a home or business. The ground heat exchanger transfers warmth from the earth into the home during the winter by transferring water or a liquid solution through a series of pipes buried in the ground. The water absorbs heat as it flows through the ground and brings it back to the home. Then the heat pump transfers the heat energy through the ductwork or radiator throughout the home.
Geothermal systems can also heat the home’s hot water and provide cool air in the summer. The earth’s temperature remains constant throughout the year so in the warm months the transfer of hot to cold works in reverse. Warm air is pumped out of the home and air cooled by the earth is pumped into the building for an air-conditioning effect.
Geothermal means big cost savings
Once installed, the system uses a small amount of electricity to run the heat pump and circulate the water through the system. Geothermal uses little to no water and does not directly burn oil or gas, saving the homeowner thousands of dollars in heating costs each year.
Additional cost savings can be gained through the systems modern and efficient design. Geothermal heat pumps use far less electricity than conventional heating and cooling units. They are twice as efficient as a top-rated air conditioner and almost 50 percent more efficient than high-quality gas furnaces.
Geothermal is green
As we said, geothermal does not rely on greenhouse gas emitting fuels, like oil or natural gas, to heat the home. Today, the geothermal heating systems that are currently installed in the United States reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3 million tons, the equivalent of 650,000 cars. The air circulated through the building’s geothermal system is not pumped in from outside, meaning air free of outdoor allergens and pollution.
Considering geothermal energy
Some home buyers come to a property with a mind to renovate. Whether it’s an old farmhouse or an urban Victorian, there is a specific segment of the market that want a property they can work with. Real estate agents can make a property more desirable by mentioning the possibility of an energy efficient heating system upgrade.
Geothermal heating systems can be found in a variety of buildings, both old and new, urban and in the country. A large lot is not required, nor is existing duct work.
The federal government and many state governments have passed laws to incentivize green energy infrastructure, including the cost for energy efficient and low-carbon home heating units. In some cases, federal and local subsidies can cover up to 60 percent of the cost. You can review your state’s incentives here at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
Skillings & Sons has extensive experience in drilling geothermal wells and installing the external geothermal heating system components. Our website is a great source for more information on geothermal systems, or you can call one of our representatives for a consultation.
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