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Geothermal Energy: A Modern Heating and Cooling Option for Your New Build Home

Posted by John Graziose

Wed, Jul 20, 2022 @ 11:07 AM

Geothermal Energy A Modern Heating and Cooling Option for Your New Build Home

For years, gas, electric, and oil heating and cooling systems were the only choices available to Rochester/Finger Lakes area residents. Although those systems will certainly keep you comfortable, they’re costly to run and may not be environmentally friendly. Luckily, geothermal energy can help you reduce your heating and cooling costs without expanding your carbon footprint.

How Does Geothermal Energy Heat or Cool My Finger Lakes, NY, Home?

Geothermal energy taps into the heat trapped inside the earth to keep your house comfortably warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Since the interior temperature of the ground beneath your feet remains at a constant temperature year-round, it offers the perfect way to keep your home comfortable no matter what the weather.

A geothermal energy system consists of a series of looped pipes placed underground or in a well or pond. As refrigerant or water in the pipes passes through the earth, heat is drawn from the soil. The pipes are connected to a heat pump inside your home that distributes heated air throughout your house. The process is reversed during the summer when heat is removed from your house and stored in the ground.

 Geothermal Model Heating and CoolingCustom Build Home by Gerber Homes NY Finger Lakes

What Types of Geothermal Energy Systems Are Available for Rochester New Build Homes?

Depending on the size and characteristics of your Finger Lakes or Rochester building site, your builder may recommend one of these geothermal systems:

  • Horizontal Closed-Loop: Pipes are buried in a series of trenches dug six to 10 feet deep in the horizontal closed-loop system. The pipes typically cover 7000 or more square feet of land. If you live in an existing home, the digging can be disruptive and will destroy your landscaping. Fortunately, that’s not an issue when you’re building a brand-new home.

  • Vertical Closed-Loop: This system takes up much less room than the horizontal closed-loop system. Loops of pipe containing refrigerant are placed in four to six-inch diameter holes dug 50 to 400 feet deep.

  • Open Loop: Instead of refrigerant, the open-loop system uses groundwater that comes from a well dug on your property. After the water travels to your home, it’s circulated into a second well. You’ll need a high water table and an ample supply of groundwater to maintain this system.

  • Pond/Lake: Do you have a body of water on your property? A pond/lake geothermal system may be a good option for you. In this system, the refrigerant travels through a series of closed-loop pipes submerged in a pond or lake. The pond/lake system is the least expensive option as it doesn’t require drilling deep into the ground or digging trenches.

 Custom Built Home on the Lake by Gerber Homes NY Finger Lakes Geothermal system

What Will I Pay for a Geothermal System in New York?

 According to Home Guide, the average geothermal system costs $4,000 to $8,000 per ton, which means you can expect to pay $15,000 to $35,000 or more, depending on your home’s site and size. Larger homes require more piping, which increases the total cost. The price may also rise if rocky soil makes installation difficult.

Although a geothermal system is more expensive than other heating and cooling systems initially, adding the system to your new build can save you thousands of dollars over the next few decades. In fact, geothermal energy could decrease your utility bills by as much as 70 percent, according to This Old House.

Incentives and rebates help lower the cost of installation. The newest state budget includes a tax credit that can save you 25% (up to $5,000) for the installation of a geothermal system. If you buy a heat pump on the state’s approved list, you can save an additional $700 through the New York State Clean Heat Rebate Program.

Interested in learning more about geothermal energy for your new build? Give us a call and we’ll help you explore heating and cooling options.

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