Geothermal Heat Pump Price Factors
When installing a new heating or cooling system in your home, cost considerations are an integral part. First, it is important to reassess the energy load and decide how to reduce the energy load in order to maximize the energy efficiency of the home. When you maximize the energy efficiency of your home, you can significantly reduce costs and utility bills while improving the overall comfort of your home.
So, how much does it cost to install a geothermal heating system?
Traditional forced ventilation HVAC systems cost approximately US$3,000 per ton to heat or cool a new house. Ordinary households usually use two to five tons.
The geothermal system starts at approximately US$5,000 per ton and can reach a maximum of US$7,500 or US$9,000 per ton. The price depends on the type of loop system.
A: Closed loop and open loop
Closed loop system: This more common option is to let water flow through an annular pipe, usually with antifreeze. It can be installed in areas with limited water sources, prohibited by environmental regulations, or with pond configurations.
Open loop systems are a less common option for using groundwater or well water. They suck in clean water from one inlet well and discharge it into different wells or systems. They are less expensive to install, but require more regular maintenance. Professionals can help you determine which type is best for your home.
Please consult local laws governing open loop systems, as they may disrupt the natural water supply. You may need to obtain a discharge permit or even treat the water before returning it to the surface.
B: Horizontal, vertical and pond grounding loop
You usually need a 5 ton system to install a 2,000 square foot house. Please keep in mind that you may have to pay a fee to upgrade your plumbing system to fit the system. The cost of upgrading your piping system for this project ranges from US$5,000 to US$20,000.
Available in tight-fitting style (with overlapping coils) or straight tube
The Slinky option uses less land area, but requires highly conductive soil (the general rule is that the deeper the better)
The most expensive because it involves deep and wide holes
Go straight to the earth
When the land area for the horizontal system is insufficient
Fees vary depending on the location of the pond
Need 8 feet of water
Higher heat transfer efficiency
Geothermal installation cost factors:
The price of geothermal heat pump alone only accounts for 20% to 40% of the total cost of the system. The cost of geothermal installation is the biggest cost, depending on various household and property conditions:
1) Renovation or installation of new housing construction
The coordination of installing geothermal heat and laying a new foundation is 20% to 40% cheaper than retrofitting.
2) Family size
Larger homes require larger systems, which increases the cost of units and loop systems.
3) Thermostat setting
Maintaining indoor high temperature settings during extreme winters requires a larger system.
4) Heat loss of the house
The current energy efficiency of a house depends on its thermal insulation, and a well-insulated house requires a smaller geothermal system.
Geothermal systems are generally not compatible with tubeless HVAC micro split systems and boilers. Most installers recommend removing them and installing new ducts.
6) Use existing radiant heating
Water-to-water geothermal heat pumps can sometimes replace boilers to power radiators or radiant floor heating in old houses. However, this project requires many expensive modifications.
7) Renovation of piping system
Depending on the condition and service life of the existing piping system, it may need to be modified or replaced. The average cost of replacing the piping system is between US$1,400 and US$5,600.
8) Basement and loft size
The installer installs the geothermal heat pump in the basement, but if the attic is too small, additional labor costs are required to place the parts on the attic.
9) Loop type
Depending on whether the system is horizontal, vertical, pond or open loop, each design has different excavation and pipe laying requirements.
10) Site accessibility
Remote and inaccessible areas require higher costs to introduce heavy machinery.
11) Plot size
The small site can only accommodate vertical geothermal wells to be drilled, and the cost is higher. The horizontal loop requires at least 0.25 acres of land.
The cost of geothermal drilling for the vertical system installation is 5 to 40 US dollars per foot. The boreholes are 4 inches to 8 inches wide, 100 feet to 500 feet deep, and 10 feet to 20 feet apart. Most households require 3 to 5 boreholes and 300 to 500 feet of pipe per ton of system heating capacity.
The average cost of a geothermal installation permit is between US$100 and US$650. The contractor usually extracts the permit and includes it in the total cost of the project.
14) Function and performance
More efficient systems, additional features or upgrades, and top brands will increase project costs. Variable-speed geothermal heat pumps are more costly, but more energy-efficient.
The ground loop must be below the local frost line. Colder climates require deeper facilities, which are more expensive to excavate and drill.
16) System configuration
The installer will recommend different configurations based on the current home's HVAC settings.
17) Landscape restoration
Closed loop installation requires drilling or digging, which can damage the yard. Landscaping costs between US$4 and US$12 per square foot for landscape restoration, moving underground sprinklers, and replanting lawns.
An optional desuperheater tank system costs between $1,400 and more than $3,000 to use excess geothermal heat to heat domestic hot water.
19) Sometimes it is necessary to upgrade the wires so that the new system can work properly in the old house.
DIY or hire a professional
This is not a DIY project. Designing and installing geothermal systems requires a high level of expertise. Professionals will be able to calculate your home’s thermodynamic requirements related to ground, water and climate to create a design that meets your needs.
A properly installed permanent circuit requires little maintenance or replacement for more than 50 years. It is best to have a licensed professional to understand the size of your house, the available land, the type of soil, and the type required by local regulations.