Water Furnace vs. GeoComfort?
We are getting ready to start new construction on a 4000 sf home (two-story open floor plan, with full walk-out basement). We have received 2 bids for GT from two local reputable installers. One is a WF authorized dealer (listed as "geopro master dealer". He's recommending the "5 series" unit with a 10/5 year P/L warranty. The other guy is a GeoComfort dealer. His recommendation is the Geo System GXT048, I don't know his warranty info (need to ask). Both estimates are very similar (less than $1500 difference).
I'm just curious on industry recommendations. It's seems like a Ford/Chevy thing. Are there major pros or cons with either of these two systems (assuming installation quality is equal).
The biggest difference in the units is the air coil. Water Furnace uses an E-coated coil that has, industry wide, issues with formicary corrosion. (Pitting of the copper causing refrigerant leaks to occur.) GeoComfort uses an aluminum micro channel coil not affected by formicary corrosion.
Having said that, the contractor is VERY important to your decision making. Check the references and go look at their installs. 10/5 years P&L is OK, both should offer 10 year P&L.
Full disclosure... We have been a GeoComfort dealer for more than 10 years.
Even though the manufacturer offers a labor warranty, the labor allowance is far less than what the normal labor rate would be. You should ask each bidder if you will be expected to pay the difference.
Have a friend who's wf coil had this very problem. Failed 1month out of warranty. I've heard this too often and it gives geo a bad rep.
Originally Posted by Bergy
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Thanks for the input! It seems like I've seen several posts about coil failure with WF. But it also seems (in my experience) when you go looking for complaints about products, you can find them. So here's my question, surely there are "complaints" about GC systems too, what are they?
Also, the WF guy is suggesting an add-on of an additional water storage unit (80 gal, described as "dedicated geo hot water"). According to his software eval it should save us $300-400 a year in utility expenses, but at a cost of almost $4000 I wonder if it's worth it?
The extra water storage is a good idea, just not at that price. A better way to go is to use an electric water heater, just don't hook it up to power. That should save several thousand dollars.
Geodean is right a out the tank. If you want desuperheating a separate tank is a must. Don't forget it's a $1500+ upgrade to add DSH. + the plumbing and tank. The $4000 is a little high but not crazy.
I also should mention we are a water furnace dealer. Installed about 120 water to air units and haven't changed a coil yet. Is it possible "Bergy" that this corrosion is a bigger issue in coastal areas with more salt in the air???
We have a couple of the 5 series in and they are pretty slick. Find out how many of the bells and whistles he is planning to add. These units can get amp donuts on fan, compressor, ground pumps, electric back up, also temp sensor and a flow meter. With a communicating stat the tech can walk a customer thru a loy of diagnosis.
Not on the coast, livin' in the heartland of Iowa.
Wow. I will be asking our rep about that. We have been very happy with the waterfurnace heat pumps, but I don't want to start a warranty coil repair business soon.
Lets clear up some confusion here, first of all the $4,000 for the 80 gallon tank is a great deal, what the OP forgot to mention is that the 80 gallon tank ALSO comes with a NSW018 dedicated ground source water heater that runs (in my climate) on average around a 4 COP heating water. We have installed a ton of these systems and they really do save $300-$400 per year vs $100-$150 of a desuperheater. Plus they save space because because no need for two 50 gallon water tanks and since its a seperate system NO electric backup needed for water heating. I am in the process of editing a video showing one of these systems and will post it here once I get it completed.
I am a WaterFurnace Geo pro and we have installed a lot of systems and the only issues we have had so far is with the new MasterStat, we have had two of those fail but never left a unit without heat due to a failure.
I think as the OP said he is looking for WF failures and since they are so much larger you will find 10 WF failure stories to every 1 GC failure story. I think WaterFurnace has many more features, a much better support system a 10 year vs a 5 year parts and labor warranty and they have the dedicated water heating(instead of a desuperheater) and variable capacity units that GeoComfort does not have.
Go to page 8 of the brochure and you will see the dedicated hot water option.
It also shows the 80 gallon geo storage tank, it says to be used in series with another water heater but thats only if its NOT hooked up to the NSW018 or NSW025 dedicated water heating option.
What did you end up with ?
A little more clearing, Sky:
The add-on HW on demand with the same 300 to 400 minimal similar savings is as low as 2300-2600 with a luxury 2nd tank but not necessarily of to have installed.
installing from tempmasters and tetcos and heat controllers and later wf cm and working solargy and flaht p I have found not hydro-delat hyd ht, but dual compressor and HW on demand in Cooling and Heating (cooling is 100% heat recovery to the HW, so loop and well circ is "OFF", then)
That Heat Reclaim becomes then a dissimilarity of a higher savings than just adding a w:w second piece.
DD: Well said . The air coils of about 6 to 7 years ago for MANY OEM, failed in all kinds of HT P and Hydro-Temp replaced them OUT of Warranty at the OEM cost, and when I repped (to 2011) dealers installed as low as under $100. ! Dual compressor allowed for programmed limitations of a first or just the 2nd compressor on the over-sized by as much as 3-tons water coils, getting higher than fixed w:w designed savings, too.
If not decided yet
add to all the other sites Q's:
is your Variable GT high speed above EER 28?
Is there a zone board built in?
Is the system available under time required?
How many years of field testing before Energy Star Rated with the current controller board?
Can we get combined HW as an over-sized (full condensing HW) desuperheating pick up in Heating Mode, and in Cooling will the Loop/Well circulation stop for 100% Heat Recovery to the HW tank?
Do we absolutely need a second HW pre-tank?
IS the OEM offering other name brands of the same, and is it their highest Eff system they manufacture?
How many stages before supplemental back up heating turns on? Explain any settable or programming and if it is wireless (what kind)...?
Can the installed footprint fit in under 32x32 with HW tank all under 100 inches high? (just for possibilities) 49k out put and even 72k+ output at 32 EntWtr and 3gpm/ per actual compressor-labeled TON inside label, not the name or outside model number... i.e.) some 048 2 stage and singles have only 40-44k compressors inside which matters in HW known capability of recovery.
Looking around: It is GT HW-HVAC-Recovery that seems to have quicker ROI's to lowest first costs even in new construction.