The price of geothermal heating and cooling
Because geothermal energy is a renewable, green energy that can let you save up to 70% in heating costs, this type of system has been gaining popularity. As a matter of fact, more and more people are turning towards geothermal heating and cooling, but before undertaking such work, they want to know the costs of it.
First, the overall price is made up of three factors. First: the drilling and underground loop. The price will vary according to several criteria, for example, the nature of the soil, access to the drilling site, the stability of the drilling rig site, and how deep the hole must be dug, which depends on the amount of heat to produce, therefore on the size of the house and its insulation properties. A steel pipe can also be added should the soil not be stable enough and need additional lining.
Second: the geothermal energy production equipment, being: the geothermal heat pump, the supply/return manifold, and the pump module. The The system must be sized according to the number of Btu required for the area to heat and/or air-condition. The costs will adjust according to the size of the house and the number of tons of energy required.
The power of the appliance is calculated in tons, at an average price that varies between $6000-$7000 per ton. A medium-sized house may need a 3-5 ton device.
Third: the energy distribution, either by a central ventilation or hot water system, such as radiant floor heating. The price of the distribution system is added to the geothermal system and can vary according to the automation and the comfort one desires.
New construction or renovation?
The geothermal system is just as feasible and efficient in both cases. Six out of ten residential systems are actually installed in pre-existing residences. If you want to install a geothermal system at your current residence, anticipate major work on your land. Flower beds, cedar hedges or fences can be affected by the work. A very big plot of land isn’t needed, as a vertical drilling system doesn’t take up much space. On the other hand, the machinery must have access to the site:
- through a path 14 feet wide free of obstacles (rocks, trees, branches (on the ground and hanging), roots, building materials, electrical wires, etc.)
- minimum clearance of 13 feet, 6 inches if we need to pass underneath electrical wires or other installations.
- the drilling location must have a minimum space of 16 feet wide X 55 feet long X 45 feet tall and be as flat as possible.
Equipment and basic installation is what is the most expensive. The system is proportionately more affordable in large houses. Even so, it’s a profitable investment for smaller residences.
More expensive than a regular system
Anticipate paying around 1.5 times more for your geothermal system compared with a classic central forced-air system. Why is there such a difference? Because in addition to drilling a well, the equipment is more expensive, there’s more plumbing involved, and installation takes between 3 to 5 days on average. On the other hand, at the end of the year, you’ll have saved significantly on heating.
Because there is a great deal of advantages to installing such a system, in addition to saving on heating costs and the fact of using a renewable system that doesn’t emit any greenhouse gas, we recommend this article that we previously wrote and that will provide you with additional information. You can also consult Ressources Naturelles Canada’s residential geothermal systems buyer’s guide.
Three subsidies are available for people wanting to install a geothermal system. Consult them for more information.
It’s difficult to give a price without having evaluated your land, house and needs. The price could easily vary between $25,000 and $35,000 according to all the criteria mentioned above. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation of your geothermal system everywhere in Québec.