If you have been considering upgrading or replacing your heating and cooling (HVAC) system this spring, you should consider a geothermal system. Geothermal energy is perhaps the cleanest and cheapest way to heat and cool your home. Geothermal systems are incredibly efficient, quiet, and unobtrusive (no loud, ugly unit lurking outside your home). Even better, geothermal systems can save you a ton on energy bills each year, meaning more money in your pocket for Christmas shopping and other fun things! Read on for our top 5 reasons to install geothermal systems in Maryland this spring.

1. Geothermal systems can save over 70% on your Maryland energy bills

Geothermal systems are super-efficient. In fact, according to the EPA, a geothermal pump is 48% more efficient than the best gas furnaces and over 75% more efficient than an oil furnace. Because of its efficiency, a typical geothermal system in Maryland shaves 70% off heating bills and 40% off cooling bills--an average savings of $106 a month (source) or $1282 per year! In fact, because the only daily cost of a geothermal system is running an electric pump, geothermal systems can lower home electric bills to only $1 a day for a 2000 square foot home. As an added bonus, geothermal systems also provide free hot water. A typical heat pump will provide 120° F water and can supply most domestic water needs, depending on the amount of consumption.

2. Maryland geothermal systems are affordable to install

The cost of a geothermal system is only about 1.8 times the cost of a traditional HVAC system, and that cost is quickly recovered in energy savings. It only takes an average of 5-8 years to recoup the cost of purchasing a geothermal system. When you consider that a traditional HVAC system often needs to be totally replaced after 10 years, the geothermal system becomes even more affordable.

Right now, geothermal installation is more affordable than ever, thanks to the plethora of different energy tax credits and energy rebates in Maryland and the federal government. For instance, the federal government offers a tax credit of up to 30% of the purchase and installation price of a geothermal system. After taking advantage of all the different incentives and energy tax credits offered by the federal and state governments, it is possible to recoup over $8000 on the average installation of Maryland geothermal systems. See below for more information on energy tax credits in Maryland.

3. Great Incentives Offered on Geothermal Systems in Maryland

If you are looking for even more tax credits and energy rebates, Maryland is offering incredible incentives for installing a geothermal system within the state. For starters, if you purchase a geothermal pump or system in Maryland, you pay no Maryland sales tax. Even better, the state offers a special program offering geothermal users an energy tax credit of $0.85 per kilowatt-hour against the state income tax, for a five-year period. The state also offers a geothermal grant through the Maryland Energy Administration, which pays grantees $500 per ton of capacity, with a cap set at $2,000 for residential installations.

In addition, many counties in Maryland offer geothermal energy savings. For instance, residents of Anne Arundel County can receive an additional $2500 tax credit towards the purchase and installation of a Maryland geothermal system. For more information on county-by-county energy tax credits in Maryland, check out our energy tax credit database.

4. Geothermal heating and cooling systems are great for the environment

Because a geothermal system relies on the natural heat source found under the earth's crust, it is one of the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly energy sources available. In fact, the U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that if geothermal systems were installed nationwide, they could save several billion dollars annually in energy costs. But geothermal systems are already making a difference. The impact of the current use of geothermal heat pumps is equivalent to taking 1,295,000 cars off the road, planting more than 385 million trees, and reducing U.S. reliance on imported fuels by 21.5 million barrels of crude oil per year (source).

5. Geothermal systems last for a really long time

If you purchase a geothermal system, you are making an investment that will pay off for years. Unlike traditional HVAC systems that need to be replaced every 10-15 years, a geothermal system can last for 20 to 25 years, and even longer if it is serviced regularly. It is recommended to have your system serviced twice a year, and BAIR Necessities offers affordable maintenance contracts to help you stay on track. This is a very conservative lifespan estimate, as independent tests have shown a useful life span of over 200 years.