R ecently, we installed a geothermal system to heat and cool our house and so far, we love it! Many people are curious about it, so I’d thought I’d share my experience with you! Geothermal systems have been around for a long time, but in the past they have been expensive. Lately though, the pricing has come down, and depending on where you live, you may be able to get fairly large tax rebates like we did. Most geothermal companies also offer financing with very good rates.
After confirming the best location on our property for the pipes to be installed, the actual installation was definitely a bit messy…first a large rig came and drilled down to the correct depth for the pipes. This is where our “ground loops” are now installed. Our kids thought this was very cool and loved telling their friends we were drilling for oil, (I wish)! Next, they continued running the pipes underground around the side of our house, these pipes only needed to be 4 feet deep. Then the pipes continued into the roof of our basement and into our boiler room. Our old heating units and air conditioning condensers were removed and taken away. I was happy to see those ugly, noisy gas guzzlers go! Then our new geothermal heat pump was installed where the old heating units were. There is no need for big, unattractive air conditioning units anymore since the geothermal unit does both the heating and cooling.
There were a few unexpected costs to note that should be taken into account if you’re considering upgrading to a geothermal system. The largest extra cost we incurred was replacing the grass (we used sod) in our backyard. It was a large area that was dug up so that was definitely pricey to put back. We also had to have some minor electrical re-wiring done to accommodate the new thermostats we were supplied with, and patching/painting of a few holes in the sheetrock, but this was not a large expense.