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Please help in HVAC recommendation!

Posted by Hoinoy (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 11:11

So many info on this site regarding which systems to choose! Currently have plans to build 4600 sq ft house in SE PA.
Will have added insulation with foam in the attic and inbetween the joists between the floors.

1st flr: 2000 sq ft
2nd flr: 2600 sq ft

My builder loves the new extreme efficiency heat pumps, ie Greenspeed/Bryant. On the other hand, I am leaning towards geothermal, but I received a quote that includes all ductwork and installation for the new construction at $70,000 (includes two Climatemaster T-30 3-ton units and well drilling) before tax credit.

Now, I am thinking that the geothermal quote is a ripoff and I can go horizontal since I have 2 acres on my land. The installer recommended vertical anyway b/c it's "much more efficient".

Would you recommend going geothermal or use the extreme heat pumps, inverter systems, etc?

Please help, b/c I need to make a decision soon with my builder regarding which HVAC system to go for. BTW, my builder would give me $17,000 credit towards planned HVAC system if I go geothermal.

Thanks so much!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help in HVAC recommendation!

I assume natural gas is not available. That would be my first choice.

The Carrier/Bryant Greenspeed heat pumps have received great reviews so far. You won't go wrong with these assuming they are properly sized and installed. I recommend you get the 10 year labor warranty. For house this size you should have a unit for each floor.

I can't advise you on geothermal, however you need to do a lot of homework before making this decision. If you don't have the time then go with heat pumps.

Your current quote will cost you an extra $53,000! Be aware the 30% tax credit only applies the cost of the HVAC equipment. You can't apply it to the duct work or anything not directly related to the geothermal system. The tax credit is not refundable. For example if you got a $15,000 tax credit, but your tax bill was $12,000, then you would only get $12,000.

You have to figure out how long it will take to recover the extra cost of the geothermal. If you house is well insulated and you like to keep indoor temperatures moderate, then you may never see a pay back.


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RE: Please help in HVAC recommendation!

Thank you Mike. We don't have access to NG, otherwise the decision would be so much easier! So, I can't claim the entire costs of HVAC system (geothermal, ducts to go with them, thermostat, etc) for 30% credit? Basically, only 30% credit to GSHPs? Would you go solar with the heat pumps?


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RE: Please help in HVAC recommendation!

Thank you Mike. We don't have access to NG, otherwise the decision would be so much easier! So, I can't claim the entire costs of HVAC system (geothermal, ducts to go with them, thermostat, etc) for 30% credit? Basically, only 30% credit to GSHPs? Would you go solar with the heat pumps?


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RE: Please help in HVAC recommendation!

Check the IRS rules carefully. I don't want to give you the wrong information. You may be able carry forward an unused tax credit amount. Don't rely on your HVAC contractor for tax information.

In my area of NJ there are homes which have installed electrical solar panels, but I know no one who has installed geothermal. Solar is more attractive if you can sell the excess electricity to the utility company. You can do this after the house is built and you have time to do your research.


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RE: Please help in HVAC recommendation!

The builder’s incentive plus the tax credits make geothermal very attractive, however the builder in reality is probably only giving you back your own money somehow.

Both choices, Greenspeed and geothermal are excellent and top tier, as such they are priced accordingly, so let’s get that out of the way as there’s always someone out there that wants to jump down my throat over the cost when geothermal is proposed.

The installer is inaccurate regarding vertical boreholes. The fact is any properly designed and installed ground or pond heat exchanger is as efficient or effective as any other. If you have the land area you would do well to price the various horizontal ground heat exchangers that are possible including ‘Slinky’ laid flat in trenches dug with a backhoe or installed vertically with a chain trencher or ‘Witch Ditch’.

There are many options for layout and how this system will be plumbed that will affect efficiency; know the benefits and implications for each method.

‘Drill’ for detailed explanations and answers!

SR


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