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Thread: Geothermal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    33
    Is a geothermal unit something to consider is a hot humid climate? I heard you have to have a large lot for the pipes to be separtated and it is very expensive on the front end. Is it worth the money or has it not been perfected yet and ridden with problems?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    It probably hasn't been totaly perfected yet, but nothing really is.

    If it's installed properly it will be as or more reliable than a furnace or heat pump.

    It does cost more for sure. The equipment isn't horribly different, but getting the excavation done is what adds up.

    You can put loops in a field (basically a big hole dug 5-7' deep), you can drill a well (one 200' hole per ton or so), you can use well water also.

    The payback does take a while, but with utility prices on the rise (and doubtfull they'll ever go down) you can do nothing but save money using one of these systems.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Central Kansas
    Posts
    1,145
    rynelle-

    Welcome to HVAC-talk! We've discussed pro's & con's of GSHP systems many times in this site. If you want to see some past conversations so they don't have to be rehashed again, do a search on geothermal or Ground Source Heat Pumps on this site and you will see them. Amick pretty much put it in one short, straight forward response. You could think of it as buying an automobile that makes Xtimes the fuel economy of another similar model. The caveat is that this car costs Xtimes more to purchase than the other model.
    Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    East Grand Forks, MN
    Posts
    1,375
    Is a geothermal unit something to consider is a hot humid climate?

    I,m not sure, but it is a big deal for us in the North.

    I heard you have to have a large lot for the pipes to be separtated and it is very expensive on the front end.

    Yes and no. With Wells you don't need a large lot, but it can be pricey. And with a large lot you can lay it out horizontally and it cost less.
    Very expensive upfront: well, it depends what is very expensive, one and a half to two times more!

    Is it worth the money or has it not been perfected yet and ridden with problems?

    Is it worth it? Well it depends on each house and each person. Is less than 5 years payback what your looking for or 10 years or 15 years or 20 years.
    And what problems is there that you know about?
    I haven't seen any problems with the equipment, but i have seen many problems with the installation!!!

    Listen, this is the most efficient equipment i have worked with, but not necessarily always the most efficient system installed. It depends on many inputs like utility rates, insulation, payback period, house plans and of course people.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Ft.Worth,Tx
    Posts
    4,584

    Thumbs up Geo Thermal-Earth Wise

    Originally posted by rynellee
    Is a geothermal unit something to consider is a hot humid climate? I heard you have to have a large lot for the pipes to be separtated and it is very expensive on the front end. Is it worth the money or has it not been perfected yet and ridden with problems?
    The Ground source Heat Pumps are not new, I have installed and service them since 1980.
    Research IGSHP and you will find alot of information.

    Climatemaster a producer of geothermal equipment has a new 27.0 E.E.R. system out this year.
    But, the size of area is not a big issue as long as the drilling trucks can get to the site.

    As stated most use vertical closed loops 200'+ back fill with special material,bringing (1) supply and (1) return loop to inside of residents.

    Then a pump Grundfos 1/25hp is added to each line and usually the unit is installed in basement or attic area.
    Then (2)5/8" pipe is routed to domestic water tank to use as storage for hot water.The basic ductwork and thermostats are added,then some people want bladder system installed if poly-pipe is source of water flow to allow for water psi differenial in summer and winter.If your system is set-up properly and designed with your load of your home,these unit will save far more than regular air-to-air systems.

    Around the Fort Worth and North Texas area there are alot of Geo-Thermals that have been operating since 1980 with little or very small repair cost. You can also look at Commandaire split system geo-thermal 24x24x24 with Variable Drive Trane air handler connected to acheive maximum comfort levels and humidity control..

    These systems do cost a little more up-front with drilling of wells, but, then the cost of operation monthly with heating of hot water and cooling is very small.

    Little Elm,Texas 5300sq.ft. home with (3)Geo-Thermals systems and de-superheater for hot water , electric bills run about 178.00 per month on average.
    "Everyday above ground, is a good day".
    "But everyday that you have made a difference in someones life, may insure you stay above ground a little longer".<aircooled>

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