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
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
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
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
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.