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I think you will find that geothermal will leave you cold when it is below 40 in NJ.
I beleive your confusing Geothermal with a Heat Pump. All air and water has some heat in it, even cold air and water, so long as its above absolute zero. A heat pump extracts heat from air and uses that to heat your house. The colder the air, the harder the heat pump has to work to extract enough heat, to heat your house. While heat pump stops working somewhere around 35 degrees F, backup heat then kicks in to heat your house. A heat pump is more efficent than a Propane heating system, but not as efficent as a Gas or Oil system.
A geothermal system extracts heat from water, since the well water is somewhere around 50 degrees all year round, it doesnt matter how cold it's outside, heat pumps have a efficency rating between 300 to 600%, as compared to a high efficency oil or gas system that around 90%.
There is a couple of differernt types of Geothermal systems. An Open loop Geothermal system uses well water to supply water to the system, the system extracts heat from the water and the water is discharged to either a return well or simply discharged out into the yard. An open loop Geothermal system is the cheapest, that's what I have. A closed geothermal system uses piped buried under your yard, the same water (or feon) is cycled thru the system and under the yard in a closed loop. There are two types, you can have a horizonal loop where you dig several 6 to 8 foot deep trenches, 100 feet long to place the piping in, or a vertical loop where if you dont have the yard space big enough, several vertical holes are drilled several hundred feet down and the pipes are inserted into the holes. This is by far the most expensive type. There's also a newer type called DX geothermal system, where feon is used in a close loop system and it's cycled directly into the compressor instead of having two seperate pipes, the loop pipe and the compressor pipe looped together to exchange the heat inside the geothermal unit.
So long as a geothermal system is installed correctly, there nothing better to heat your house. The most important thing you need to determine is your houses heat loss, that the amount of heat it loses in BTU's so you know how many ton unit you will need.
Yeah I said a few pages back I was indeed confusing it with a heat pump.
Could you share how much it costs to install plus how much your monthly heating bills are and in what size of a house?
The system came with the house when I brought it in Nov. 2007, It's an older Open Loop Geothermal system (1990), I got a qoute to replace it and it was 8k for the standard system and 10k for the most efficient system. (this price is just for the unit itself, the existing pump, well and Ductwork do not need to be altered/replaced) I would like to replace the system with a better one, but I'm going to hold off for a few years. A newer system will proably be around 25% more efficient then the existing one.
My electric bills for a 3,500 sq ft house have been averaging about $350 a month in the winter. Supposely the cooling load is 2/3 of the heating load, so I should be looking at around $230 a month during the hottest part of the summer. The house has 2 zones, the downstairs is heated with the open loop Geothermal system, the upstairs with a heat pump. I think when I replace the heat pump, I will see my electric bills drop around $75 a month in the winter.
The more I learn about geothermal systems the more I can't beleive everyone doesn't demand one in there house. So long as the system is the correctly sized for your house and is installed correctly, nothing is more efficent to heat your home. HVAC contractor pushes there new 90% effeicency gas systems, even the cheapest geothermal systems get 250% effeicency and the best ones can be up to 400% effeicency. While it's true the inital cost of installing is higher then any other heating source, if your replacing your heater anyway, seriously consider the Geothermal replacement, it will pay for itself is less then 10 years (at worse, some in as little as 3) and with the ever increasing cost of Gas, Oil, Propane you will be ahead in the long run.
We went with a Geothermal heating and cooling system as a retrofit. It was a no brainer for us. We live rural with access to natural gas, we plan to spend the rest of our days in this house and with the new (Canadian) government incentives it makes for a good investment. The house is a 20 year old factory built Royal Home. Unfortunately the original homeowner selected baseboard electric heating (no ductwork).
The challange I found in our area (Caledon, Ontario Canada) was finding a reputable contractor. It's all small businesses and most are fairly new at it. I did background checks on the ones near us and settled on Headwaters Geothermal. It's run by a gentleman named Cameron Brown. I went with the Geosmart (a locally rebranded Water Furnace) ground source with Horizontal loops. The house had baseboard electric heat therefore no duct work so we went with a 2 zone duct work installation retrofit. I can say we had a bitter sweet experiance. My wife may decribe it differently. It was not a pleasent time for us and it dragged from the promised 2-3 months to 9 months. The cost over runs happened but not too bad. In the end we feel we came though it with a great system. Lost some brain cells along the way.
If anyone is thinking of going with this outfit feel free to email be at [EMAIL="firstname.lastname@example.org"]email@example.com[/EMAIL] if you wish to hear a perspective of the risks of taking on a project of this magnitude and with this particular contractor.. or if you have had experiances feel free to share them. I will certainly share both the good and the bad and some advise to hopefully avoid some of the gut wrenching frustion I could see some one experiancing in such an undertaking in what is still some what of a flegling industry in these parts.
I developed a neighborhood where all 22 homes used Waterfurnace ground source heat pumps. Everything TechGromit writes is true. Most of the other posts on this threat are not well informed.
GS heat pumps are the least affected by weather of almost any central heating/cooling system because none of the components are out in the weather. Also, these units have few moving components compared to conventional heating/cooling systems.
The condensor unit for AC is replaced by the loop in the ground, where it is below the freeze/thaw zone. So no outdoor noise in summer, either. Because the ground stays about 58 degrees year round, it is very economical cooling. The waste heat from the cooling cycle can be used to pre-heat the domestic hot water, usually providing most or all of the hot water energy needs in summer.
I lived in the house I developed with this system for 5 years. For a three BR, 2 BA home, all electric, my total electric bill came to $36/month (averaged annual bill). It was a set it and forget it situation, no evening turn down, etc.
On a retrofit, make sure that your duct work is blower door tested to make sure that it is tight, have it insulated to at least r-7 where duct passes through unconditioned space, and locate the heat pump within your thermal envelope. Actually, these ideas apply to a new home, too. Don't assume all new homes are energy efficient and built air tight. Most, at least in our state, are poor performers.
As others say, the trick is finding a good HVAC contractor. But if you finance this in your home mortgage or through an equity line, you'll end up saving a net amount from day one. Check with Advanced Energy Corporation in NC for who has attended their classes from your area.
Geothermal heating & cooling systems work great, if they are installed correctly. They will reduce your heating & cooling 70 percent while cutting foreign oil consumption. Best of all geothermal systems are made in America, not china or india. With the new stimulus bill passed it makes it very affordable. 30 percent tax credit for complete installation. Make sure to call an accredited installer.check out this site. www.igshpa.okstate.edu/directory/directory.asp
We had an oil furnace that we needed four 900 litre fills to heat the house when we first moved in 2006. Heating oil was 1.10 per litre – yeah, pushing $4000 a year for heat. We looked at natural gas + ground source heat options & it was a no brainer. Our small lot required vertical loops and drilling. Not cheap due to the Niagara escarpment here in Hamilton ON – $14 000. The entire system was $31 500 – an $8700 rebate from the governments and about $1000 from the cool savings program took us to about $22 000 in with all services and taxes included. The system requires electricity to run the pump and to convert the heat (via a desuperheater); 70+% of our hot water now comes from this process too [more in the summer than in the winter]. Looking at our average annual KWHr, it has gone up tremendously – from 8700 KWhrs in 2007 to 14 294 in 2008 after the new furnace was installed. Looks bad right? Well, we are fortuante in Ontario to have reasonably priced electricity. Even with the time of use rates, the average electricity cost is 7.35 cents per KWhr. This means the difference in cost of the electricity went from about $640 in 2007 to $1050 in 2008. The delivery charges; debt retirement charges, etc remain unchanged. So about $400 per year more in electricity costs and no more $3000-4000 heating oil bills was an easy choice. Estimates for natural gas heat for us ranged from $80 – 120 per month (not sure if that is a high or a low guess-timate from the companies we spoke too). Lets guess it would cost $1250 per year. That’s $850 more per year to use gas. It would likley cost $10 000+ to install a high efficiency gas furnace, high SEER central air, and run a gas line into the house; and $10 000 may be a kind estimate. So a $12 000 initial difference between Natural Gas and Ground Source Heat with an annual savings of $850 means we would break even (or the savings from our furnance would equal the $12 000 more it cost to install our ground source furnace) in about 14 years. That’s if gas prices do not rise and service rates stay the same. The furnace has a 25 year warranty – (try to get hat from gas or oil manufacturers) and the vertical ground loop lines are warrantied for 50 years. The ground source furnace has a longer pay off for gas than heating oil (14 years for gas and about 7 years for heating oil), But our new system adds value to the house, no longer has a combustable fuel in our home/risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, has a positive environmental impact, causes no concerns about rising costs of fuel(s) and the even heat that it provides makes us very happy and comfortable with our choice. Once the break even points are met, the $3000 if we stayed with oil, or the $850 if we convereted to gas stays in our bank account -- the system will then be "paying us" by saving that money that we would have needed to spend on gas or oil.
Our system is a Tranquility 27
four tonne system with a
superdeheater for hot water
augmentation. Our intaller is
with the geoexchange coalition
(something you should seriously
consider). He is Gaston at the
Green Method [google on-line]
- he's off the QEW near Stoney
Creek; he subcontracted our
drilling needs to a reputable
company as well (they are also
with the Coalition). Straight
shooter; no extra/hidden fees;
personable and a wealth of
knowledge. And our system
works.. and works great.
I would suggest you to install Ground source heat pump as they are electrically
powered systems that tap the stored energy of the greatest solar collector
in existence: the earth.
It benefit the enviroment as well as its installation help in saving money,
save energy, operating cost.
For detail visit: [url]http://www.egshpa.com/[/url]
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