Cost of Geothermal Heat Pump Equipment, Supplies and Installation Price
One of the biggest reasons consumers shy away from Geothermal Heat Pumps is the price, and the lack of information that is available on the web when it comes to how much Geothermal heating and cooling cost. TerraSource, puts the average cost of Geothermal heat pump systems between $8000 for a DIY’er and $15,000 for a full installed system.
There are many factors that ultimately determine Geothermal heat pump cost, starting with what you might currently have, the actual heat pump equipment, the supplies and materials used for the installation and of course, the labor of the project itself.
In this Geothermal Guide, we are going to walk through the different factors that determine how much money you spend on equipment and labor, how much you can save with tax credits, ultimately determining a Geothermal heat pump price.
New System, or Changeout of Existing?
If you already have a traditional forced air hvac system (Wikipedia link) in your home, you may be able to save a considerable amount by up-fitting some of the hardware like the supply duct system or circuit panels, versus needing to add all new duct or electric service to your home.
If you need to add a new duct system however, a general guideline for the individual runs is $175-$200 per supply vent. Meaning, if you have 6 rooms and need a total of 12 supply vents (2/room), a general estimate would be $2100-$2400 for the duct system.
Adding a new circuit breaker panel and electric wiring can cost several hundred dollars depending on the distance from current electrical service, to the where you plan to locate the unit. In many cases, a new service panel with a breaker and electric whip is about $400.
Price of Equipment
Depending on the size and brand of heat pump system you choose, the equipment itself usually ranges between $3500-$7000. The factors below will determine the wholesale or direct cost of the equipment:
- Well Known Brands cost more. Expect a brand like Trane or Carrier to cost a bit more than lesser known brands like Water Furnace or Climate Master.
- Larger capacity systems cost more due to their size. Bigger motors and pumps simply cost more money.
- Comfort or Efficiency Features cost more. Things like ECM or variable speed blow motors cost more, just like on standard equipment.
In our opinion, if you have decided to take the course of installing a Geothermal heat pump system at your home, don’t try to shortchange on the cost of equipment. Buy the highest rated, highest quality system you can afford, since payback is going to be significant!
Buyer Beware – If you choose to buy your Geothermal equipment on some auction sites like eBay or other eTailers, check with the manufacturers first. Many geothermal heat pump manufacturers require professional installation in order to validate the warranty on equipment. Most professionals will not install equipment unless you buy it directly from them. This is one of those areas that an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of protection!
Cost of Supplies, Permits and Incidentals
Nothing can waste your Geothermal heat pump cost faster than realizing you don’t have the right size tubing, the proper distribution manifold or even something as small as not having properly rated clamps for your tubing. Even worse is when the local County Inspector shows up to ask about your permits. It happens, and you should be prepared! Look over these incidental costs many DIY’ers forget about:
- $150-$300 – Local Mechanical (Plumbing, Electric, etc) Permits and Inspections as required.
- Free-$200 for Dig-safe or underground utility locator services. You would have to dig up a high voltage line.
- If you have a fence, it may need to be removed to allow large equipment into your yard.
- If your Geothermal Loop requires a lot of digging, you will have to repair the landscaping after its done.
- If you are attempting a DIY installation, you may need specialized tools, heavy equipment rental, etc.
Installation Labor Cost
Although do it yourself sounds like it may be a way to save money on your geothermal system, you might be surprised to learn that having a professional come in saves time and money in the long run. Between the learning curve about the equipment itself, you now need to learn how to run an excavator or whatever other pieces of machinery are needed to dig the loop or well.
Many equipment contractors will charge a flat hourly or daily rate, that includes the operator of the equipment.
- $75-$100/Hour – Backhoe and Operator Rental
- $500/Day – Up to a full day rental, paid as a flat rate.
Many general contractors are easy to work with and nothing is carved in stone so to speak on how they will charge you. in fact, we have used a local contractor on our property several times at $25/hour, just because he wanted or needed the work. Shop around, you may be surprised at the rate you get.
Local Incentives, Tax Credits and Rebates
As we outline in our detailed Geothermal Heating System Tax Credit Guide, the federal rebates for this type of renewable energy are substantial! At the federal leval, you can get a full 30%, dollar for dollar tax credit. The Geothermal credit should not be confused with a “deduction” which simply lowers your adjusted income tax obligation, tax credits are exact same-dollar credits off the final tax bill you owe!
- 30% Off the Total Cost – Federal Tax Credit
- Up to 10% State incentives for Geothermal On TOP Of the Federal Credit!
- Manufacturer Rebates and Incentives
- EnergyStar Tax Credits for High Efficiency Heat Pumps and Fan Motors
- Interest Free Financing Incentives
There are many ways you can save a considerable amount of money on a new geothermal heating system, you just need to know where to look and who to ask. In most cases, your professional contractor will have all these answers and much more.