Looking for feedback on geothermal!

TinuvielleJune 9, 2014

Hello there!

I am quite new on the Forum, and a newbie to the field.

My husband and I are in the processes of buying a 3 600 sf house (Ottawa Region, on the Quebec side). The current heating system is... oil. That need to go!

We are looking at either a electric furnace with a heat pump, or geothermal.

Does anyone had the same dilema, and can you tell me about your experience? Many thanks!

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Annie Deighnaugh

Love geothermal...have had it for 4 years.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Hello there!
Can you let me know a bit more about the system you have, and what have been the cost?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We live in zone 5. We installed an Econar which was built in MN. I believe a lot of the other manufacturers build systems to cool that also heat, whereas we wanted a system that heated, but also cooled. Being in MN, Econar is familiar with needing lots of heat. However, I believe they have since been taken over by someone else.

I can't really tell you much about the costs of the system as we installed it in a new home with lots of other energy efficiencies (closed cell insulation, active solar panels, passive solar design...). I can tell you that our total energy costs are significantly below what they were in our old, smaller house, we keep this house warmer than the old one, and that the system does a great job of it. It has a back up system, but even at below 0 temps, we've not had to use it. And we've never once missed having the oil truck pull up to our house and leave a big bill in our door!

We have a vertical closed loop system, needed two 250' which were drilled in a single day.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Expect to pay double (+) the up-front costs over other systems. Find a real good GSHP company who installs plenty of systems for your climate and donâÂÂt go for cheap. Ground loop systems that are used primarily for heat can have efficiency reductions and other problems if not designed properly.

I love geothermal but I installed my own horizontal loops, fused all the pipes and gave it to my GSHP guys from there. ItâÂÂs a big 16 ton system with domestic hot water heating and was designed (over designed) by a professional. I save a large amount of energy but âÂÂDONâÂÂTâ recommend this as a DIY project for 99.9% of the population.

Frankly, I doubt I would have gone with a GSHP due to the up-front costs if I didnâÂÂt install the loop myself. However, it was a great decision for me.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Many thanks for your comments!
I tried to contact firms that are accreditated by the Canada Geothermal Coalition, so we will see.

But not a lot of feedback in my area, so I'm actually afraid of the possibility of a default in the loop. :/

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 5:23PM
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We had Geo-therm installed last summer, with the very cold winter we had here in Ny, close to Canadian Border, we were pleasantly surprised. It performed better than we ever expected and are very happy with our decision.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:51PM
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Sorry I didn't respond to this sooner. We put geo in last Aug. replaced an oil furnace. We also had 2 in. of spray foam insulation put in the attic, so there is no way to say which accounts for all,of our savings.
Previous year fuel oil bill, $5,000. This year, $0.
Electric bill has been about 30% lower.
The cost of installation compared to other options all depends on those options. Compared to the cheapest oil furnace/ ac quote, triple. Compared to a top of the line air source heat pump, equal. (Factoring in the 30% tax credit).
All I can say is by putting the two together, we are saving HUGE $$$!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:11PM
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