Here’s something you may not know: your home is literally sitting on a free, infinite supply of energy.
This energy source can be used to heat & cool your home throughout the year here in Charleston at a fraction of the operational costs of traditional energy sources.
This energy source is called geothermal energy.
Geothermal energy is essentially stored solar energy in the ground beneath your home. Throughout the year, the earth absorbs the sun’s energy and that energy essentially remains there, ready to be tapped into and used.
This stored energy helps maintain the below-ground temperature at a steady 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year — all while the outside air temperatures fluctuate between the extreme high temperatures of summer and the colder temps of winter.
This steady underground temperature can be tapped into and used to cool your home during the summer and to warm your home during the winter. Large loops or pipes under the ground work in coordination with a geothermal heat pump to move heat into the ground (during the summer) — and out-of the ground (during the winter).
Geothermal HVAC is the most energy efficient type of system out there (upwards of 530%) and is also the longest lasting — with lifespans of up to 25 years for the indoor unit and up to 100 years for the underground equipment.
As noted above, the efficiency of geothermal systems is unparalleled.
Efficiency — in HVAC terms — is basically how much energy a system needs to produce a certain desired comfort level.
For example, let’s say you want to maintain a 72 degree temperature in your home. If an HVAC system (‘System A’ we’ll call it) takes a certain amount of energy to maintain this temperature and a different HVAC system (System B) uses more energy than System A to maintain that same temperature, then System A is said to be more efficient than System B.
Geothermal HVAC systems use a fraction of the energy that is used by traditional systems to maintain the same comfort level and thus outpace all others in efficiency.
This efficiency ultimately means you’re using less energy each month, and less energy used means lower energy bills — up to 70% in many cases.
Along with the monthly energy savings, there are federal and state level tax incentive programs that allow you to offset the initial project cost of installing a geothermal system.
Through 2019, you can receive a federal tax credit of 30% of the total system/project cost, along with South Carolina state tax credit (currently 25%!).
You’ll want to act on a geothermal project quickly though as the federal tax credit drops to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021.
Altogether with the advanced energy efficiency, the longer equipment lifespan and the tax credits, geothermal systems are the only type of HVAC system that will eventually pay you back over time.
Basically after the initial cost of the system (which you can also get special financing for as little as $125/mo with $0 down), you’ll be saving nearly $1,500 each year on energy bills, which after time allows you to “break-even” on your initial HVAC project investment — something that will never happen with a traditional system.
After this break-even point, you’re essentially profiting from using your geothermal system each month versus losing money each month with a traditional system.
Not only is this great, but because the lifespans of geothermal systems are much longer you won’t need to spend anything on new equipment until around the 25 year mark — you’ll need to get a new traditional system after about 12-15 years of use.
After reading this we hope you have a better idea as to why so many Lowcountry homeowners are making the switch to geothermal this year — and why you should as well.