Geothermal heat pumps are gaining some traction with homeowners interested in saving money, the environment, or both. People who are considering installing a heat pump in their home often find themselves asking questions about how much money a geothermal heat pump will save them, and how long it would take to break even on their purchase. However, some homeowners may forget to take into consideration that geothermal heat pumps may increase a home’s market value, resulting in more profits when the time comes to sell.
Why Geothermal Heat Pumps Attract Buyers
There are many factors that can influence a home’s value. Location, size, features, aesthetic, and condition of the home are all variables that buyers take into consideration when they’re trying to decide which home to purchase. Some factors are simply economical decisions, while others may be more subjective or even emotional. In that same vein, geothermal appeals to buyers for a number of reasons.
Sustainability & Eco-Friendliness
Relatively recently, green/sustainable features have become another factor that can influence a home’s value. Sustainability can not only act as a tie breaker between two similar properties, but it can also be something buyers actively pursue. More and more home buyers seek “green” homes or homes with “green” features simply out of a sense of duty or obligation — although that is not to say these buyers wouldn’t also enjoy saving money as a result.
Geothermal HVAC systems can cut a home’s energy use by a significant amount. This is one of the easier selling points as it is one of the easiest to explain. Because they save homeowners hundreds or thousands of dollars over a period of many years, the presence of a geothermal heat pump on a property can compel buyers to make higher offers. For example, if a buyer believes there’s a reasonable opportunity save upwards of $10,000 over their decade-long residence in a home, they may be inclined to pay $5,000 more for a home with geothermal compared to an exact copy of that home with a traditional HVAC system.
Heat pumps are also long-lasting. Whereas an air conditioner lasts about 15 years, and a furnace lasts about 20, a geothermal heat pump lasts for 25 years while the ground loop can last as long as 50 years. Since the heat pump can serve as both an air conditioner and as a furnace, this means that a heat pump can potentially save a homeowner thousands of dollars over many decades on replacement HVAC appliances.
There’s something attractive about an element of uniqueness to many buyers. Although geothermal is not really new, it’s not the most common home feature either. Just like a home with an interesting roof, unique architecture, or elegant entryway, some buyers may enjoy the prospect of “standing out” with geothermal. Their home may not be visibly different from the others in their neighborhood, but they’ve certainly obtained a good conversation starter when the topics of utilities or sustainability come up.
It’s also possible that a buyer may specifically look for homes with a geothermal system already installed and – in that case – they may be willing to make a very competitive offer.
Consider Every Variable
Making an informed decision means running all of the numbers. Even within the same neighborhood, some homes may be better suited to certain upgrades than others. It’s quite possible that monthly savings alone will make this upgrade “worth it” to homeowners. Every situation is unique and should be treated as such. Consulting with experienced professionals is a great first step.