The recent spike in propane prices has consumers looking for alternative ways to condition a home. As a result, a growing number of homeowners are considering geothermal heating and cooling as that alternative—and for a number of good reasons.
Efficiency and savings
Geothermal systems, which draw on the stored energy in the earth, are much more efficient than propane and offer savings in the range of 70 to 80 percent on a yearly basis. Plus, consumers are not left vulnerable to volatility in the fossil fuel market or delivery prices.
There’s no waiting for fuel deliveries or running out of fuel at an inconvenient time. Unlike other renewable technologies like solar or wind, geothermal heat pumps provide constant benefits regardless of outdoor conditions.
Life span of equipment
Geothermal systems tend to have a longer life span than propane-fueled heating systems. It is estimated that furnaces that run off of propane have a life span of 15 to 20 years. Geothermal heat pumps, on the other hand, have been found to have a life span of roughly 25 years, while the underground piping system that accesses the underground energy can last more than 100 years before needing to be replaced.
Costs over time
While the price and installation costs of a geothermal system are higher than those of a propane system, the yearly energy savings experienced with a geothermal system can allow a homeowner to recoup the additional installation costs spent within five to 10 years, on average.
Plus, a 30 percent federal tax credit is available to homeowners who install a geothermal heating and cooling system.
Another advantage that geothermal offers over propane fuel is that a single geothermal system can provide a homeowner both heating and cooling.
Some geothermal systems even have an option that provides homes with hot water. With this combination, homeowners can enjoy even more savings. In some cases, that means up to 70 percent savings on their monthly utility bills.