2 Key Alaska Geothermal Heating and Cooling Considerations

1.     Initial Costs vs. ROI

You can’t escape it: replacing your present HVAC system with a geothermal heating and cooling system is a pricy proposition. Initial costs here in Alaska can run anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 – or higher. Lot size, site accessibility, system configuration, ground conditions, and other issues account for that. So too does the amount of excavation that has to be done and what sort of ductwork modifications are needed. And if you’re having a new home built? It’s not as pricy, overall, but it’ll still cost roughly 40 percent more than a conventional HVAC system will cost you.

Okay, you wanted the bad news first. Now, for the good news. First off, some sort of incentives and rebates may be obtainable at the federal, state and local level to help you out with installation costs. Second, the energy savings you could experience with your new geothermal heating and cooling system will start returning your initial investment right away. So you could recoup your investment in as little as four years. But , then again: Local utility rates and the end cost of your installation may prevent full repayment for, oh, say 15 years. Since geothermal systems usually endure for upwards of 30 or 50 years, though, you’ll still come out ahead. You simply have to decide early on what your finances can tolerate … and how patient you are.

2.     Geothermal Benefits Can Easily Offset Concerns About Initial Costs

Let us enumerate the major benefits:

  • Compared to more familiar heating and cooling systems, geothermal heating and cooling could clip as much as 30 to 60 percent off your heating bills. And it could reduce your cooling costs by as much as 20 to 50 percent.
  • Geothermal systems use renewable energy – heat taken from the ground.
  • Geothermal heat pumps don’t run by combustion, so you’re not bothered by greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc.) and you have no fire safety or air quality concerns.
  • Since no outdoor fans or compressors are needed, geothermal heating and cooling systems run much quieter than ordinary systems.
  • Since there are few moving parts and geothermal systems are protected from the elements, you’re assured many decades of low-maintenance, top-performance use. Indoor components may last about 30 years, ground loops, about 50.

Looking for more information on any of these points in order to make a decision about your heating and cooling options? Consult with the Alaska geothermal experts at Energy Efficiency Associates. We’re happy to help, whatever you decide.