Step 1: Seal and insulate. Step 2: Enjoy big savings from your geothermal heat pump.

We want you to have the most efficient heating and cooling system available. (We’re certainly not shelling out rebate cash to discourage members from buying geothermal heat pumps.) But putting a heat pump in a house that hasn’t been properly sealed and insulated is like trying to bake a cake with the oven door open. Or like pouring expensive wine into a colander instead of a glass.

We’re thrilled that you’re interested in converting to geothermal. It’s just that there’s an important first step that will make your big switch so much more satisfying. It’s not as exciting, we know, but making sure your house is sealed and insulated is essential for getting the return on investment that you want from your geothermal heat pump.

Without sealing and insulation, you’re leaving a whole lot of savings on the table. Sealing and insulating ensures you get the greater efficiency you expect from your new equipment and, if you aren’t ready to upgrade your system, can bring the savings you crave. We’ve seen bills cut in half when homeowners sealed and insulated.

That could be you. We want that to be you, in fact.

Try getting a home energy assessment to find out where your home is losing heated or cooled air. You probably have some good ideas about where that’s happening; you probably also will be surprised by some areas you hadn’t ever considered. Take a look at the most common areas where homes lose or let in air.

Sealing can be a straightforward project that requires little more than a caulk gun and determination. For a more complicated sealing project, you can enlist sealing services from a company that specializes in it. For insulation projects—and most older homes have inadequate insulation—you’re better off calling in a professional. “Sounds expensive,” you say? It won’t be free, true, but it will pay for itself quickly.

“People say they can’t afford to insulate,” said Energy Advisor Tim Haddix of EnerStar Electric Cooperative. “I say you can’t afford not to. Insulating gives back for years and years.”

If you need a new system because yours isn’t working any more, then by all means take advantage of our rebates for geothermal heat pumps, but seal and insulate, too. And if you’re doing just fine with your current system, you still need to consider sealing and insulating, because doing so will hold in the heated or cooled air you want better and make any system more efficient.

“There are a lot of steps you can take toward reducing energy consumption,” said Tim. “The first is insulation and sealing. Without that, you’re just wasting money—especially if you’re buying fancy new equipment.”