Confort-Aire Geothermal Heatpump
We have decided to go with Geothermal heat pump for our new construction. The HVAC subcontractor quoted us a 3-tone Comfort-Aire unit, model HTV036. This is will be a closed loop, horizontal in ground installation for a ranch house with about 2000 sq ft in Nebraska.
Is this a good unit? Is it Energy Star compliance? Would this house be fine with a 3-tone unit? Thank you so much.
The only way to know if it will heat your house is having a manual J load calculation to verify heating and cooling sizing. I have never heard of comfort aire so it sounds like an off brand to me but maybe somebody else can chime in. I like WaterFurnace personally but Climatemaster, hydron module and geocomfort are a few brands you might want to look at.
One of the most important parts of the system is the loop installation or the unit will not perform as specified so either get a good driller or good loop installer to ensure there is enough loop properly installed in the ground.
IF very, very well inulationed, that might be adequate. But most of Nebraska has prettly low winter desing temps. However, 3 tons is liekly plenty for the cooling load, so any larger would be too large for cooling. An actually load calculation is best. In a cold climate like yours, unless your supplementing wit ha wood stove or other ehating source on the coldest days, you'll be on the heat strisp a fair amount. But it will stall save a lot over PRopane, or a air source heat pump.
Well, It has been awhile since I posted. Here is the update:
We installed the said unit above (Comfort-Aire is the brand from HeatController which is manufactured by ClimateMaster, I think). Here is the details:
-Vertical closed loops - 3 wells at about 200' deep each.
-They bent the tube into a U-shape and inserted into the well. All "6" tubes are connected at about 10-ft below the ground level outside the house. These are bored into the unit UNDER the basement subfloor.
-Inside the utility room I see 2 tubes come off the ground and connected into a water pump. I guess one contains coming water and one is leaving water.
-There is also a desuperheater that is connected to my 80 gal electric water heater.
-Should I close the desuperheater during winter? installed said the system is smart enough to shut it off when system is calling for HEAT. Is that true?
-On COLD night (windy and below 0 temp) the system is running continuously when I set it at 72 degrees, often on Stage 2 or Aux heat settings. Is that normal?
-Installer did NOT have the performance test done yet. He said that he need to do the cooling test as well. Can you do the cooling test when it is soooo cold outside?
Any recommendations for ventilation because our interior air is recirculating always? should I run exhaust fans inside the house to expel air to outside to make the interior air cleaner?
Its normal for it to run all the time as its sized for the cooling load and the aux is there to make up the difference. Would that be 200' total per line or 400' (600' or 1200' total)? You would need a fresh air intake or Hrv/erv to bring in make up air to purge indoor pollutants and improve iaq. This would be tied to your return air of the system. The dr superheater should only run when there is excess heat available. It'd be ok to check ac in the winter on a geo as the outdoor temp doesn't matter.
Originally Posted by GoHuskers
There will be 400' in each well (200' for one side of the U-Shape) and total 1200'. There are many return air vents for the re-circulation and it is tied to the geo unit.
Thanks for responding.
Good, that's enough. I was worried you only had 200'/ton, the minimum I believe is 300'/ton so you've got plenty. Do you have a return vent coming from the outdoors somewhere.
Originally Posted by GoHuskers
NO, I don't see any Vents coming from the outdoors.
Originally Posted by jtrammel
Is this WHY we are all SICK after living in our new built for less than 2 months? Or is it just a coincidence?
I am requesting him to have the performance testing done because we are paying more than double the electric bill (comparing to our old home with Bryant Air-to-Air heat pump with gas backup, the house is slightly smaller. This unit is ALL electric.
Something's wrong with the unit or the house if you're paying more in utilities to operate a geo vs an air to air of equalish sizes. The strip heaters must be running when the are not needed or something else is going on. If you don't have make up air (from outside) the house will take forever to purge indoor pollutants such as VOC's from construction materials. I'd get a blower door test to see if there's anything going on with the structure and test tightness of the duct system and structure. Good luck. If you don't have an ERV/HRV/WHD tied to the make up air then you will be adding to the heating load in the winter and cooking load in the summer (it'll run even longer than it does now). My guess is it's not set up properly or something is malfunctioning rather than the unit not being large enough to handle the load.