If your home is located outside of a town, city, or urban area, it can be difficult to find a suitable heating system for your needs. Many rural areas are not serviced by municipal gas pipelines, and electric-powered furnaces can be cripplingly expensive to run, so many rural homes rely on furnaces powered by heating oil.

However, there is a better option. Geothermal heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular, and are especially suitable for rural properties. If your out-of-town home relies on oil furnace heating, here are three reasons to replace your furnace with a geothermal heat pump system:

Very Low Running Costs

Geothermal heat pumps provide heat by tapping into the natural heat contained within the soil beneath your feet. Once you dig a few feet below the surface, soil temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year, even when above-ground temperatures are well below freezing. 

Geothermal heat pumps extract this heat using long lengths of piping, which are buried in trenches or boreholes beneath your property. These pipes are filled with heat transfer fluid, which absorbs heat from the surrounding soil. The heated liquid is then pumped into your home.

Because this system does not require any external fuel source, geothermal heat pumps have extremely low running costs. When properly installed by a high-quality geothermal heat pump contractor, a geothermal system can reduce your energy bills by hundreds of dollars a year. While geothermal heat pumps are more expensive than conventional furnace systems, they will pay for themselves over time with lower heating bills.

Rural properties are more likely to see substantial savings from geothermal heat pumps than urban properties. The extra outdoor space found on many rural properties allows longer lengths of piping to be installed, increasing the system's efficiency.

Alternatively, if your property has a large pond or lake, the piping can be installed within it. Water-source geothermal heat pumps are usually considerably cheaper to install than subterranean pumps, maximizing your savings.

Zero Emissions

Heating oil furnaces generate air pollution and greenhouse gases. While they use less energy than electric furnaces, these emissions can offset their environmental friendliness. If you want your home to be more eco-friendly as well as cheaper to heat, geothermal heat pumps are the way to go.

Geothermal heat pumps do not generate any harmful emissions and do not draw any energy from the municipal electrical grid. The pumps and fans they use to generate and distribute heat are powered by the energy generated by the pump itself. This makes them particularly useful for self-sufficient, off-grid rural homes.

Year-Round Reliability

If your home relies on an oil furnace, making sure you have enough oil on hand to run your furnace is a constant concern. Transporting large quantities of oil to your home can be difficult and time-consuming, and heating oil deliveries can be quite expensive. If the roads near your home are cut off by heavy snow, you may be left with no heating oil just when you need it the most.

Geothermal heat pumps can be relied upon to provide heat year-round, without requiring any fuel. They will also remain functional during power outages caused by thunderstorms or blizzards. Stable soil temperatures also make geothermal heat pumps much more efficient during cold weather than cheaper, air-source heat pumps.