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HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Posted by harry_nj (My Page) on
Fri, May 2, 14 at 13:40

Hello everyone, I am new to gardenweb. and looking to get some views on my situation. My home has 2 furnaces and they are pretty old. Can die anytime !

I already am familiar with upgrading the conventional hvac and know how much should it costs. approx 25K
So I am looking to get estimates in central nj for geothermal.

However I want to know what kind of figures I should expect for my 3500 sq ft home and has a half an acre of space around it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Welcome Harry. I am also in central NJ and own a home similar in size with two furnaces. I am very familiar with the pros and cons of geothermal in our area.

If you have natural gas, then you will find at the current gas and electric rates it is actually cheaper to heat your house with a 95%+ efficiency furnace. The gas rate would have to rise significantly before geothermal become more economical. If you have oil or propane then geothermal will have lower operating costs.

The second issue is you have two independent HVAC systems. Installing two geothermal furnaces becomes very expensive. You could get one furnace and create two zones, but in my opinion that is less desirable.

You probably have enough land to install a horizontal loop. But excavation in NJ is expensive.

If you live in or near Mercer county then send me an email. I will send you the contact information of the Carrier dealer I used for my HVAC equipment. I believe he can also give you a geothermal quote.

If you get an geothermal estimate I would be interested in the details.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Thanks mike!

I live in Middlesex County . I will email you my contact info.

I have gas for both the furnace. I would like to know how much you got your estimate for as well


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

If I had volcanic activity in my area, I'd want geothermal energy for sure. You guys are so lucky.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Jersey has volcanic activity?

I live in the NYC and geothermal digging of vertical loops alone was 3/4 of the entire price. Although it wouldn't hurt to get some free estimates. I recommend looking at Climatemaster or Waterfurnace variable speed.

In fact, my biggest advice is to get tons of quotes and estimates. You'll become way better informed in the process. HVAC equipment has really changed in the past four years.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

You do know there are fed tax credits still available for geothermal?

I would be looking though at dual fuel Carrier Greenspeed system as an alternative to geothermal.

IMO


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

The OP has natural gas and electricity prices have held steady at $0.18 per kWh. The Greenspeed would not be cost effective.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Posted by harry_nj (My Page) on Fri, May 2, 14 at 14:03

Using gas but both the furnaces are 25 yrs old

Electric is 11c/kwh

I am trying to estimates for geothermal and they seem to be in the range of 60000 without even looking at the house.

Note pricing of electric.

I don't think anyone should consider Geothermal without carefully weighing cost difference with a GreenSpeed system.

IMO


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

There are still Federal tax credits available for geothermal, but 30% of crazy expensive is still expensive. You might find someone who can excavate cheaper, my quotes were in the 50-55K range before any credits.

I decided to go with a Carrier Greenspeed and then take the additional money and go solar in a few years. This region's energy prices have been all over the map, from .08-.37kwh and 1.38-3.78therm, so it's tough to make a 'perfect' decision.

Another good variable speed heatpump is the IQ Drive made by Noradyne and sold under a host of names, including Amana, Fridgidaire, Westinghouse etc.. It uses a Panasonic variable speed instead of a Copeland. Might be a good option if there's a dealer in your area.

On paper, the IQ drive is better than the Greenspeed, but after asking enough questions it seems in practice the heating portion of the Greenspeed seems significantly better.

This post was edited by bsmith on Sat, May 3, 14 at 17:28


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Bsmith...if you don't mind me asking what do the green speed heat pumps run. We have a home with oil furnaces and I am thinking of going hybrid with oil for really cold days and heat pump for the rest. I am in southern NY, my electric is around 17 cents/kwh but I think it will still be cheaper than oil


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

My best quote was a 4-ton Infinity Greenspeed compressor 25VNA048 with a variable speed air-handler FE4ANB005 and the Carrier Infinity Wifi Touch controller with an Aprilaire 5000 electrostatic air filtration unit for $13,200. With local rebates it comes out to $11,600.

Here's a great calculator to make the decision easier.
http://sagoro.wrightsoft.com/Carrier/Default.aspx

Another one:
http://www.tools.carrier.com/greenspeed/

I'm going to use my gas steam boiler as a backup, but have a feeling there's no need for it. Depending on how well the Greenspeed heats, I might just install radiant heating. I'm trying to avoid ever going back to steam heat, hate it.

With my brand new triple pane windows covering 1750 sqft, DIY blown-in attic cellulose and Foamular along with the Greenspeed, I have a feeling Con Edison will be knocking on my door to validate that my meters are working correctly. ;)


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

I got quotes for Geothermal and they were in the range of 65K which is crazy expensive..(with the wells and a furnace)

And I got the quotes for Carrier Greenspeed, system for 100K BTU Furnace and Greenspeed HeatPump..HybridHeat.

One system for ground floor and one system for second floor.
This combination came around 25K. Now I want to know is are the prices fair? Or I can negotiate?


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Personally, I always negotiate (in a fair and firm manner) and get lots of quotes. The ones who don't take it personally and are amenable to questions are the good ones.

I'm going to be using my old steam boiler as a backup. Although a Greenspeed 4-ton is linear in performance up to 5F, when efficiency and performance starts to degrade; so I have a feeling my backup won't be used much, if at all. My relatives in colder CT have a Greenspeed and haven't once needed backup heat even during the polar vortex, which is very impressive.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Geothermal in NJ is very expensive. That's why you don't see any installations.

If you have natural gas, then you should not be spending money on a Greenspeed heat pump. You electric and gas rates are the same as mine. In my opinion you should get 95%+ gas furnaces and not get any heat pumps.

Were you quoted 100K BTU furnaces for each floor? If you did, then I confident you have been over sized.

Did the contractor do a load calculation? Did he review it with you?


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Yes I have been quoted for 100K BTU...how did you know? :-)

He initially quoted me 80% efficiency for my second floor and 97% efficiency for first floor.

I asked them to do energy audit to get more precise estimates but he said they don't do it.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

One thing i don't understand is if heat pump can be used to heat my home then why do i need 100K BTU furnace to heat my home as auxiliary?

It;s like having full capacity heat pump and full capacity furnace..? Shouldn't the furnace have low BTU?


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

The gas furnace and heat pump are set up as a dual fuel system. Both cannot operate at the same time. When the outdoor temperature becomes too low the heat pump cannot produce enough heat from the outside air to keep the house warm. The thermostat then switches over to the gas furnace. The furnace must be large enough to heat the house at the lowest temperatures.

You stated you were quoted a 100K furnace, and you have a two system set up. It sounds like this contractor is guessing at the sizes and is proposing systems that are expensive and not in your best interests.

Send me an email if you are interested in getting a quote from a Carrier dealer who will do load calculation and propose systems that make sense.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Harry,

I received your email but I can't respond. You need to go into your profile and make your email address viewable. Or send me another email with an email address in the body you want me to use.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Hi Mike,

I am uploading the pic for hvac quote.

Let me know your comments.

I will email you my email address


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

You have been quoted 190,000 BTUs for heating and 7 tons for cooling. This is enough to heat and cool two houses!

Did this contractor do a load calculation? If he did I would love to see it.

I find it incredible a Carrier contractor would propose a Greenspeed heat pump and a 97% efficient furnace in NJ.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

I thought I met a few clunker Carrier dealers, but all of them still deserved to be in business. Unless you live in a solid glass house the entire proposal is an absolute sham and embarrassment. Get more quotes from competent dealers!

This post was edited by bsmith on Fri, May 23, 14 at 16:10


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Thanks mike and bsmith.. I also thought quote doesn't look right!! Thanks for confirming!


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Ok some more news on this front. I got three quotes on geothermal. Two geothermal heat pumps (3 and 2 Ton) with desuperheater included and costs around 42000

Two quotes are around 42000 and one quote at 77000.

If i go with 42000 than I get 5000$ rebate plus 30% tax credit.

which brings down the total to 25000 approximately....
Looks like a good deal to go with Geothermal!

Any thoughts?


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

"Two quotes are around 42000 and one quote at 77000."

Did you ask why one quote is $35,000 higher than the other two?

Can you post the equipment and work you would be getting with the $42,000 quote? I would like to see the comments by the geothermal experts.

Have you sat done and calculated your heating costs using the geothermal heat pump versus a 95%+ gas furnace at today's electricity and gas rates? The answer may surprise you.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Thanks for the follow-up. I'd like to see the proposed equipment as well. What type of dig are they planning. I'd personally do it myself for 25K after taxes from a competent Climatemaster or Waterfurnace install. The closest I will ever get to a ground loop is by placing a return on the floor of my basement. :)


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Mike:
I have told them to give me estimates for electricity usage. and compare them with current usage.

Also i got estimates for conventional high efficiency furnace they were around 23-25K approximately..

Equipment is Waterfurnace 3ton and 2ton unit..They will place on unit in attic which will be insulated and other unit in basement..Won't change any existing ventilation

Also comparing the prices after tax I don't see much difference between high efficiency furnace and geothermal.
Considering I need to have two furnaces, geothermal prices come close.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Harry,

I can see you have fallen in love with the geothermal price after the rebates and tax credits. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you are getting equipment which is properly sized, matched, and installed.

You don't have a valid quote until you have the model numbers of all the equipment and the details of what will be done as part of the installation. If you have that information then you should post it. You should also provide details about your loop design. There are a few people on this forum who can offer their advice.

The comparison you need to make are total energy costs (natural gas and electricity) for conventional HVAC and geothermal systems. I pay the same gas and electric rates as you do so I would be interested in seeing the numbers.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

At 41.0 EER and 5.3 COP for the Waterfurnace 7, I would LOVE to see price comparisons based on current usage. You won't get those numbers in the real world, but it will still be really sweet.

Especially in a predominant cooling environment geothermal will easily blow the Greenspeed out of the atmosphere. In a predominate heating environment, the savings or ROI aren't nearly as substantial.

However, if that pricing is indeed for the Waterfurnace 7 from a competent install, even in NJ it's a no-brainer for me. :)

BTW, some compelling/thought-provoking blog postings by Tom Konrad of Forbes.com.

Waterfurnace 7 Series vs. Climatemaster Trilogy Geothermal Heat Pumps: The Best of the Best
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomkonrad/2012/07/02/waterfurnace-7-series-vs-climatemaster-trinity-geothermal-heat-pumps-the-best-of-the-best/

A Deeper Look at Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomkonrad/2012/07/16/the-efficiency-tango-a-deeper-look-at-geothermal-heat-pump-efficiency/

Are Air Source Heat Pumps A Threat To Geothermal Heat Pump Suppliers?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomkonrad/2014/01/15/are-air-source-heat-pumps-a-threat-to-geothermal-heat-pump-suppliers/

How Geothermal Heat Pumps Can Soar Like Solar
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomkonrad/2014/02/28/how-geothermal-heat-pumps-can-soar-like-solar/

Let's face it, DC brushless inverter technology is our current future, no matter how much some kick and scream into it. In fact, the US is behind the world in this technology. However the real future is actually being explored outside of the US in linear compressor technology. Geothermal would be an extremely welcome addition to either tech.

Maybe we don't have zero-point energy (yet) but we do have lots of free energy surrounding us to harness, which is essentially going to waste.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

In a cost comparison, be sure to include equipment costs and the expected lifetime of the equipment.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

One quote:Hydron Module HXT036
Hydron Module HST024
325 ft borings
10KW Auxiliary Heaters
Geospring Water Heater
MP024 AirHandler

Second Quote: no model numbers yet just Waterfurnace.,
GeoSpring Water Heater
10KW Auxiliary Heaters


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Here are the specs for the WaterFurnace Series 7. There is a big difference in numbers between ground water and ground loop installations.

I did a quick calculation using the current PSE&G gas and electricity rates. You need a COP of at least 5 for a heat pump to be more economical to heat a house versus a 95%+ efficiency furnace. This does not take into account the amount of electricity used for the back up heat strips.

The cooling performance of the geothermal is going to be better. If we go by the ratio of EER values, then it would seem the operating cost would be half.

I would be curious as to see how the performance of the unit installed in the attic differs from the one installed in the basement. It takes a lot of energy to lift the antifreeze solution two stories.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterfurnace Series 7 specs


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Mike:
I agree I don't see much $ savings from installing the Geothermal. system. 500$ a year atleast I guess. with my HVAC. But if I consider water heater as well then my costs would be atleast 1000$./ year which are good enough to recoup the extra 5K I would be shelling out for geothermal.

But if I want top of the line Furnace/AC vs Geothermal.. costs are not that different. I haven't decided whether I want to go Geothermal yet.

Considering its a big project with upfront capital costs I want to know exactly how much I would be saving to make this decision.

First quote is basically putting a Airhandler to avoid putting the heatpump in attic and second quote wants to put the heatpump in attic.

There are some differences in design and equipment in both the quotes.

Both had the tonnage same. 3 and 2 ton.

I am gettign a third quote soon. Lets see


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

First Quote: Pic


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Why is the water heater a separate system. Can't the ground source heat pump do that for you?


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

You expect to save $500 a year on hot water heating costs with geothermal? Are you expecting hot water heating will be free? I would agree that the waste heat generated in the summer could heat the hot water tank. I have no idea how well that works during the months of June through September when the AC is operating.

In the winter the heat transferred to the hot water heater is less heat for the house. You also have to consider the amount of energy needed to run the heat pump in order to just heat the hot water tank. It seems like a lot of energy to maintain the temperature of a 50 gallon hot water tank.

Keep the posts coming. I am learning a lot from the information. I am very interested in this since your house is very similar to mine in terms of location, size, and HVAC systems.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Also read those Fortune articles... Tom is the only one who gets current ground/air source heatpumps mostly real-world right instead of mostly pie-in-the-sky wrong. Shame is most of the 'experts' in my NY area know very little about either, and tried to convince me out of anything other than an on/off switch. So far they are *dead* wrong on the comfortability factor, fairly wrong on the efficiency/cost of operating, the winter savings still remains to be seen.

The one installer who was fairly knowledgeable said, he never installs inverters unless the homeowner requests them. Usually the wealthiest homeowners want the cheapest unit possible. It's only geeks like me who go out of their way to own such a unit.

To me an inverter *heatpump* in 2014 is a no-brainer, same with geothermal at that price. Harry in NJ is a lucky guy if he could get the state-of-the-art Waterfurnace 7 at such a juicy price. I'd move to NJ just to get it.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Mike, He is not planning 0n saving on hot water with Geothermal... he is citing a separately provided Heat Pump Hot Water Heater. (Same model as mine.)

I don't know how he is heating water at the present time, but if it is with an electric hot water heater, his $500 annual savings is reasonable if his usage is such that his Geospring unit can operate in heat pump mode only. (If he has three teenage girls, not so much. lol )

I have no knowledge of what savings the geothermal unit could provide as a hot water heater, if possible.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Keep researching, using geothermal for a water heater is mostly a real-world bust.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Heat transfer from/to many locations is common in commercial and manufacturing. Must be it is too expensive to invest it into the piddling quantities of energy savings found in a home.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

My my, where to start…

“Geothermal in NJ is very expensive. That's why you don't see any installations.”

A quick look at the IGSHPA website reveals well over 150 accredited installers in your state. Why would these people and companies invest so much time, money and effort to become and remain accredited if geothermal can’t stack up to gas or anything else for that matter? They’re businesspeople not hobbyists.

If you’re going to install a geothermal system in your attic, consider a split system (geo unit in the basement, air handler in the attic), as you may not want to hear (or feel) a compressor running above your head.

“I would be curious as to see how the performance of the unit installed in the attic differs from the one installed in the basement. It takes a lot of energy to lift the antifreeze solution two stories.”

(Seriously, I don’t mean to pick on you personally Mike!)

It takes virtually nothing to pump that antifreeze up another 30ft when you’re already pumping it up 650ft in a closed loop (remember, ‘balanced’) vertical system - not even including buried runouts!

Harry, looking at your quote, I personally don’t like Hydron geothermal HPs, but that aside, they’re looking to install a 5ton system with 650ft of borehole. That’s 130ft/ton - not nearly enough in my estimation! You’re risking poor COP numbers at this ratio, forget COP-5 with variable speed; it’ll never happen when you need it most.

A conservative ‘best practices’ number is 200ft/ton 1-borehole per ton, vertical boreholes separated by 15ft minimum AND configured in parallel! I wouldn’t even talk to those Hydron people. I would have little patience for anyone suggesting even 150ft/ton.

“Non-Pressurized Flow Center” has its pros & cons; I could live with that, possibly fewer callbacks for the installer, which is why it’s in there. 10kW backup may not be enough; whatever is installed should be specified as ‘staged’.

This is what I would suggest. Hire an independent consultant to spec out and propose the most efficient gas hybrid geothermal system, I’d even consider adding the staged electric backup as well, all using absolute ‘Best Practices’ - period. That would be like getting an independent real estate appraisal on a home before purchase. I would then shop the proposed system around (along with accompanying pics) to IGSHPA accredited geothermal installers. That way you’re getting quotes on YOUR system - not theirs! Only have the serious players out to your house; don’t waste your time or theirs.

If you want to ensure what is being proposed is the ‘best’ design, for independent design consulting, contract with an IGSHPA ‘Certified GeoExchange Designer’ in NJ. That way you KNOW you’re dealing with ‘Seal Team - 6’ of the geothermal industry.

IMPO

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: IGSHPA Certified GeoExchange Designers


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

"A quick look at the IGSHPA website reveals well over 150 accredited installers in your state. ...They’re businesspeople not hobbyists."

I'd like to know how many accredited installers were accredited before and after 2008 when nat gas prices tumbled by 75%.

Why is electric backup heating desirable? I can see it with ASHP, but with ground source?

Good idea to get an independent writer to make a proposal and shop it around. It makes a lot of sense with an investment that large.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

fsq4cw,

I was waiting for you to come along. What took you so long? :)

There may be 150 geothermal installers in the state of NJ, but how many installations are they doing a week? How many of them only do geothermal installations and nothing else?

You are probably right that pumping water up to the attic is a small percentage of energy compared to pumping up from the ground. But all HVAC equipment installed in attics suffer from some loss. This is why I am generally against it.

I get the feeling the low quotes are cutting corners in order to hit a price point. The OP needs to ask a lot questions. Your suggestion of hiring an independent consultant is good advice if someone is serious about geothermal.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Re: ionized

“I'd like to know how many accredited installers were accredited before and after 2008 when nat gas prices tumbled by 75%.”

I’m sure many before and many after 2008. Accreditation courses and exams are always on going.

“Why is electric backup heating desirable? I can see it with ASHP, but with ground source??”

It’s something that should be discussed and either ruled in or out. The cost to the project is not that significant and would afford complete energy source flexibility with regard to backup. I would however agree with you that this makes even greater sense with regard to the backup of a hybrid air-source heat pump system as air-source has defrost modes whereas geothermal does not, particularly so in areas that have electrical ‘dual rates’ or time-of-day metering for ‘off peak hours’.

“Why is the water heater a separate system. Can't the ground source heat pump do that for you?”

This item sounds like it might be for the desuperheater system, which should have a buffer tank before the ‘active’ tank. Desuperheaters work best into a lower temperature buffer tank feeding an active tank than straight into a higher temperature active tank. Heat likes to move from high to low not high-to-high, that’s the reason for the buffer tank.

Re: bsmith

Keep in mind that state-of-the-art geo is a waste of money without the ground loop to go with it. That not only means ft/ton but also pipe size AND configuration. Either you get it ALL right, or you’ll never see that ‘theoretical’ magical COP and you’ve wasted your money!

It’s a case of, ‘careful what you wish for’…


Re: Mike

“I was waiting for you to come along. What took you so long? :)”

We (my wife & I) were off on a month long European vacation to in part investigate home espresso equipment costing almost as much as our geothermal. In the end I’ve ordered equipment costing only in the realm of Greenspeed; 'oh the shame of it all'.

“Are you expecting hot water heating will be free? I would agree that the waste heat generated in the summer could heat the hot water tank. I have no idea how well that works during the months of June through September when the AC is operating.”

During the A/C season is when a desuperheater works best, domestic hot water is essentially free up to a water temperature of about 120F. The hotter it is outside the more hot water is produced, in fact, you’re ‘relieving’ the ground loop by producing the hot water, which ‘might’ be important if the SOB contractor ‘short looped’ you by NOT drilling deep enough. Winter however is another story.

“There may be 150 geothermal installers in the state of NJ, but how many installations are they doing a week? How many of them only do geothermal installations and nothing else?”

I have no idea but how many home owners and businesses may be looking to geothermal after all their outdoor equipment got blown away by ‘Sandy’? Even after a hurricane the loop is still good after a good flush.

“You are probably right that pumping water up to the attic is a small percentage of energy compared to pumping up from the ground. But all HVAC equipment installed in attics suffer from some loss. This is why I am generally against it.”

It’s not as much of a much of a problem with geothermal, many institutional geothermal installations have many mono block HPs horizontally mounted in ceilings throughout the buildings to facilitate zoning as well as load diversification (some zones may be heating while others may be cooling) and efficiency, that are all fed by the same bore field. As a homeowner, I would prefer NOT to worry about my ground loop springing a leak above my head and ruining the ceiling! It’s already enough to worry about the condensate, noise and vibration with an attic mounted air handler.

IMO

SR


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

I believe current stats have only 10% of HVAC dealers ever bothering to perform a manual J, such is the sorry state of affairs. Most dealers also don't understand why a variable speed anything would provide way more comfort, much less how a air/ground-based heatpump could be placed into practical use. They are only interested in installing on-off switches and moving onto the next job.

Especially inverter driven compressors allow controls to almost perfectly match the capacity of the heat pump to the exact cooling/heating load. They are superior in the amount of de/humidification they provide and act like full-time de/humidifiers in properly designed systems. Naturally a ground-sourced heat pump will run an even colder evap and allow for even greater comfort and indoor humidity control.

In the instance of Greenspeed, the loop is one of air placed on an especially large *hulking* outside unit. Again the only difference between air and ground-sourced heatpumps is heatsink placement, of which the ground is a much better source. To say anything otherwise shows the ignorance of the installer or person relaying the information.

Personally I don't think there's nearly enough appreciation Internet/industry for a 4-ton air-sourced heatpump that can provide an impressive almost linear 44-48K BTU down to 5F. Although most cannot be bothered with any learning curve. In fact, pure industry ignorance about this tech was my main reason for ultimately going with an air-sourced heatpumps. Also digging loops into the ground provides yet another variable to go wrong and compromise rated efficiency numbers. With my relatively limited space, comparatively speaking, vertical ground loops in my region would have been too cost prohibitive.

BTW, I also think some are relying too heavily on an energy market that is artificially controlled inflated/depressed. Increasing electricity prices especially in the Northeast are due to cap-and-trade and higher industry standards for emissions over the last five years. Don't expect natural gas to remain at these artificial lows forever without some equivalent manipulations. Enjoy it while it lasts during this current Adminstration, but don't be lulled into placing all your eggs into a single gas basket. :)


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

"They are superior in the amount of de/humidification they provide and act like full-time de/humidifiers in properly designed systems."

While I agree that superior dehumidification is characteristic of modern, variable-speed designs, I think that "act like full-time dehumidifiers..." is overstating it. The manufacturers are overstating it too. The fact is that there is no way to get dehumidification without cooling unless you introduce reheating. That can be done with the reject heat from the same refrigerant cycle with an additional (hot) coil in the same air flow as the cold coil, or with some other heat source.

I think that a more accurate statement would be that they can approach the performance of dedicated dehumidifiers.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

I actually agree with you and was going to qualify my statement to include *mini*-de/humidifier. There are tweaks in the software that without could make the process go horribly wrong vs. stand-alones. I experimented briefly and suddenly that fairly excellent dehumidifier becomes a mild humidifier. :)

So far the push and pull relationship (in practice) of the variable speed blower/compressor does maintain RH very well without any overcooling. On very humid days with low temps, it does a very good job of going into a dehumification cycle without chilling the air. It's actually pretty cool to watch this thing in action. In fact, I believe for dehumidification and heating (not overall cooling) is where being slightly oversized is actually a very good thing, and contrary to conventional sizing advice.

My main point: arguing about the viability or need of VS, inverter, linear compressors might be pointless. We should really be asking, why in 2014 is this tech so darned expensive in the US vs. other parts of the world? It also makes sizing issues of both ductwork and blower/compressors far more irrelevant. And yeah, it helps to take the bad dealer/installers more out of the equation and equalizes any potential errors, present and possibly future.


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Update:

I got quotes on WaterFurnace Series 7.

My contractor told that he doesn't do Waterfurnace but does Geo Star Sycamore which is basically a Series7 but sold under a different brand.

So I got two quotes:
One 3 ton sycamore(Series 7) and one 2 ton Aston(Series 5) for 43000
two 325ft holes and 10 Kw and 5 Kw auxiliary heat.
Non pressurised flow center

Second is Basically same but 40000.

First quote is for split for second floor and second quote is all in one for both floors

I Can't have series 7 for both as they don't have series 7 in 2 ton capacity.

Quotes seem pretty good and include a desuperheater as well. Any comments?


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

‘Careful what you wish for’, you’ll be getting geothermal but possibly not quite what you think, as your contractors seem to be cutting corners. Geothermal is not something that should be done on the cheap. If you’re more driven by price than quality then I would suggest saving your money and install something else.

5-tons at 650ft equals about 130ft/ton, that’s not nearly enough pipe in the ground at full load. Best practices require 1000ft of borehole for 5-ton. Unless you see that in the contract you should be walking! I would also suggest finding a contractor that will install the brand heat pump that YOU want since it’s you that’s writing the cheques. If you walked into a car dealer wanting to buy a Cadillac and were told they sell only Chevrolet would you just buy a Chevrolet or would you look elsewhere?

Waterfurnace will also likely be better supported by the manufacturer.

I would not just take what’s given to me and sign a contract. Reread my previous posts even in this thread and pay attention; I am trying to educate you and it does take time to compose a coherent response!

Caveat Emptor - Buyer beware!

IMPO

SR


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RE: HVAC upgrade or Geothermal?

Hi fsq4cw

Some good points from you.

Regarding WaterFurnace/ Geo Star, my house would not require a 6 ton ( 2 3ton Water Furnace Units.) So One would have to be series 7 and other would be series 5 probably. Either way I can't have series 7 for both floors.

I looked at Geo Star Website and its WaterFurnace units with a different brand name. So I am ok with that.

Regarding the wells/holes/bore I would have to ask the contractors. I am not sure what they mean by 2 325 ft holes.For each of the units or both the units.

Almost all quotes I got were in the same range 40K to 48K. So I think the prices are about right. Not just going by the price. I got 6-7 Quotes. I am looking closer at two quotes only because they seem to be responding to my questions. A good sign I think.

Both of them changed the geothermal equipment with what I asked for and offered me suggestions. Did a house inspection as well. Both are willing to do a manual J inspection upon contract. And they have given me references as well.

Hopefully I can make a decision soon.

Thanks for all your comments. keep them coming


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