2 Major Portland, OR Geothermal Heating and Cooling Considerations

1.     Starting Costs vs. ROI

There’s no avoiding it: replacing your present HVAC system with a geothermal heating and cooling system is an expensive proposition. Initial costs here in Portland, OR tend to run anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 – or above. Lot size, site accessibility, system configuration, ground conditions, and other factors have a say in it. So too does the amount of excavation that must be done and what sort of ductwork modifications are needed. And if you’re having a new home built? It’s not as expensive, overall, but it’ll still cost about 40 percent more than a typical HVAC system will cost you.

Okay, that’s the bad news. And, yes, there is some good news. To begin with, various incentives and rebates may be offered at the federal, state and local level to assist you with installation costs. What’s more, the energy savings you could realize with your new geothermal heating and cooling system will help you begin to recoup your initial investment almost immediately. That means you could recoup your investment in as little as four years. But be forwarned: Local utility rates and the final cost of your installation may hold up full repayment for, oh, say 15 years. Because geothermal systems often endure for upwards of 30 or 50 years, though, you’ll still make out all right. You just have to determine early on what your finances can take … and how patient you are.

2.     Geothermal Benefits Can Easily Offset Concerns About Up-Front Costs

We’ll enumerate the major benefits:

  • Compared to typical heating and cooling systems, geothermal heating and cooling could clip as much as 30 to 60 percent off your heating bills. And it could minimize 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 operate by combustion, so you’re not troubled by greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc.) and you have no fire safety or air quality concerns.
  • Because no outdoor fans or compressors are necessary, geothermal heating and cooling systems are much quieter than conventional systems.
  • The absence of many complicated moving parts and the fact that geothermal systems are effectively shielded from the elements pretty much guarantee many decades of low-maintenance, top-performance use. Indoor components may hold up for about 30 years, ground loops, about 50.

Need a bit of clarification on any of these issues in order to make a decision about your heating and cooling options? Visit the Portland, OR geothermal pros at Total Energy Concepts. We’re eager to help, no matter what you decide.