by Robert Little, CRS
Geothermal HVAC systems are good for the environment and good for your pocket book, but are they also good for your new home’s value? When considering major upgrades, most homeowners want to get the most out of their investment. To make these ROI calculations, homeowners should consider every part of the equation. With this in mind, and after figuring out the potential monthly savings associated with installing geothermal heat pumps, homeowners should also see what kind of impact this installation would have on their home’s resale value.
Future buyers may be willing to pay more for a home with geothermal heat pumps than a similar home without this upgrade for a few big reasons. Many of the reasons are similar to why a homeowner would choose to install it in the first place. Understanding how these subjective and objective benefits can impress potential buyers can help sellers accurately price their homes.
Making Financial Sense
Geothermal saves homeowners money by significantly lowering their monthly energy bills. Buyers seek out homes with efficient appliances and upgrades because they like knowing that they’ll be spending as little on their heating and cooling as possible. Even if they pay a premium for this efficiency, they will see it as a “win” if they project their savings over time will outweigh the cost.
People tend to stay in their homes for quite a while (over a decade, on average). This could translate to thousands of dollars in savings, even when accounting for things like routine maintenance. As heating and cooling costs typically make up a large proportion of a household’s utility bills, it will be hard for buyers to overlook this benefit.
Buyers are drawn to modern, innovative home devices and upgrades. In recent years, concerns for the environment have left many home buyers favoring homes with environmentally friendly features. Heat pumps are better for the environment than the more traditional forms of HVAC equipment, but many buyers do not have the fortune of encountering a home with this feature during their house hunt. About 87% of homes in the United States have air conditioners, and nearly half of them are heated by natural gas furnaces. As such, a home with a geothermal HVAC system already installed just might stand out among the competition in a significant way.
When they move into a new home, buyers like knowing that it will be a long time before they have to replace the appliances. Geothermal heat pumps are a hit with many home buyers because they’re so durable and long-lasting. Whereas a standard air conditioner will only last about 15 years, and furnace will last about 20, geothermal heat pumps can last about 25 years, and the coils for the heat pump can last around 50 years. Not every buyer will be aware of this, so it is always helpful to provide this information to them early in the process or in marketing materials. Keeping good records of when the heat pumps were installed and any maintenance that has occurred can also help buyers in making this decision.
Work with an Expert
There are many great reasons to install a geothermal HVAC system in your home. A good geothermal heat pump can improve your quality of life and reduce your bills while you’re living in your home. Resale value is often just the icing on the cake. A geothermal expert can help walk you through these benefits as well as the process of installation.