We are building a new house in the eastern panhandle of WV. Can anyone who has put a geothermal system in recommend an accredited, experienced geothermal installer in the WV/MD/VA area? Thanks!
Check this link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: International Ground Source Heat Pump Association
Thanks, SR. I have checked the on-line resources and have names for local installers, but was hoping to get specific recommendations from satisfied customers.
We had a system installed in a new house near Romney, WV this summer so limited use so far. We were pleased with the installer, Dawson's out of Hedgesville or Martinsburg I think. They were recommended by the builder who has used them before for both conventional and geothermal systems. Ours is a 5 vertical well system made by Hydroheat.
Thanks, Dave. Do you mind telling me how much more the geothermal was compared to conventional?
We didn't actually get a quote for a conventional system, we had planned on geothermal for this house from the start. I'm sure it was quite a bit more given the wells were pretty costly because of the hard shale where we were located- over $5500 for the wells alone.
Southen Air Temp out of Berryville VA has been doing GT for over 2 decades. They installed a 12 ton system for me in 2007 and I have been happy with it.
They did a great job designing the system and it really works great. The only "complaint" that I had was there were no guages on the system to tell me if it was working properly. I easily installed these guages myself since they had installed a number of Pete's Ports on the system (A Pete Port allows tempertaure and pressure gauage probes to be inserted for testing and troubleshooting).
Scott is the lead maintenance person at Southern and really knows what he is doing.
I recommend finding a reputable company close to your home who can provide service. I would also insist that they install guages and provide you with training/instructions on how to monitor the system to make sure it is working properly. It is very easy if you know what to look for. In the beginning I found issues by getting abnormal electric bills - not a good way to debug.
I would specify that they install a self bleeding vent so that any air bubbles that develop in the system (and trust me - you will get them) will bleeed out automatically. This is very simple - just find the highest point in the system and install an air vent (cost is about 30-40 bucks for a good one) . The reason is that when air get's into you system, they have to come out to the house with a purge cart and bleed the air out. So you wind up paying someone an hourly fee to watch your loop fluid run through a tank - and that process can take many hours depending on the size of the system and the types of loops. If you have the air vent instralled, they can do a quick purge to get you up and running and then the system will bleed the remaining air out by itself - will save you some dollars.
Make sure that they provide you a method for juicing the system so that when air bleeds out, you can back fill with a small amount of water to get the pressure back up. I built a juicer (after Scott at Southern showed me how) and now do my own basic loop maintenance. I stil call them for any big issues, but I handle the basics for keeping the loop up to snuff.
They key to getting the great savings in electric bills is to make sure that your system is always running at the right efficiency. Keep the loop pressure (flow rate) at spec, make sure you use a high quality air filters and change as specified, and keep the tstats at a constant setting and you will be in great shape.
Good luck with the system.