Geothermal heat pumps initial cost is higher than that in classic air conditioners or furnaces or air-source heat pumps. A typical medium-small system will cost you around around $7,500 – $12,000. That price is often twice the price of an air-source heat pump, but in countries like the USA you may benefit from an interesting tax credit (30% of the cost, in USA)…
Heat Pumps And Electricity Savings
The competitiveness of a heat pump depends directly on the electricity savings it allows.
Ground-Source (Geothermal) Heat Pumps: Costs And Payback
Ground-source heat pumps can save something like 30-70% on heating and 20-50% on cooling over conventional systems. That represents, according to studies conducted by Geothermal Heat Pumps Consortium (based on installers and builders reports), annual savings between $358 and $1,475.
Supposing an average saving of $1,000… and since average ground-source heat pumps cost is around $7,000 – $12,000 for a typically three-ton unit, that means a payback period of 7 to 12 years (without considering heat pump rebates and tax incentives, that may lower significantly that payback).
However, you may also take into account your particular needs and consumption, or variables as the energy source in your region or state. Gas powered equipments have typically lower operational costs, which may turn heat pump systems a non-economical option.
Air-Source Heat Pumps Costs And Payback
Once the average initial investment in an air-source heat pump is lower ($2,000- $4,000…) than that in a geothermal heat pump, the recovery of the investment is usually shorter than that in a ground-heat pump, despite the lower electric savings of air-source heat pumps. Paybacks of 5-6 years are possible.
But these are just references, that can be offset by several other factors: your energy consumption, the type of energy you are using (electricity, gas or other), local finance incentives and tax credits…