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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    5

    Geothermal heat Pump

    Hey guys I need some more help. I wanted to post this separate from my other question since not ever contractor does GSHP.Here is the situation. My parents own a cottage future retirement home in the thumb of Michigan. He built the house about 35yrs ago and installed electric baseboard heat at the time as it was cheap (still is) and was easily done by himself. Well fast forward 35yrs we need a modern system. He never put in ductwork as it was out of his ability and price range at the time not to mention this is farm country.

    We have settled on Geothermal because of operating cost. There is No Ng available and propane is out of this world. I need some help for brands and duct work questions. I am set on waterfurnace however my father is more lets see what the best price is. The other big brand is geocomfort which is waterfurnace. What I don't get is the geocomfort guys say waterfurnace is crap because they hold the patents on their parts so you can only get them from waterfurnace. But if geocomfort is waterfurnace don't the parts still come from waterfurnace or geocomfort only?

    My next question is duct work. Most want to run a chase up to the attic then blow down into the second floor rooms. Does this work ok with geothermal since you move a lot more volume and a lower temp? Would it not be better to have the ducts lower down to the floor?

    I am also wondering what is the deal with the new 2 stage units. I understand how they work but are they worth the money? Some contractors say they are good others say they are better in warmer climates for the air conditioning feature. He is interested as my father is a thermostat at 65 no higher. LOL oh yeah and furnace doesn't go on until Thanksgiving as you have to have something to give thanks for LOL. So it can run on the first stage until my mother cranks it up then the second stage kicks in or if they are away they can leave the temp lower on the first stage?

    Thanks for all you help guys as geothermal is a HUGH investment compared to a 2k furnace. I know I will have more questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,760
    As far as duct work in the attic. Its always best if the duct is in conditioned space. But it can work fine in the attic, it just needs to be insulated properly.(presumed its also designed right)

    2 stage is for comfort, and youor mother will be more comfortable with the constant air of first stage then with the faster on off of a single stage.

    As fo the geo questions, I'll let someone more familiar with those brands answer.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    in that part of the 'cold' country, I urge having the roof underside foamed, then covered with sheetrock -- & seal the attic --
    else, drop the ceiling in the upper hall for ducts --
    harvest rainwater,make SHADE,R75/50/30= roof/wall/floor, use HVAC mastic,caulk all wall seams!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,195

    Ac Joe -

    What about Florida Heat Pump? They have been making geothermal heat pumps for twenty five years or so. And I have very good luck with their equipment.

    Is there a cellar under this house? If so; that's where I would put the HP unit and the supply air ducts.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    698
    Don't forget ClimateMaster. As good as Waterfurnace and a bit lower cost. Waterfurnace was started by guys who left ClimateMaster, hence the similarity in product.

    paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    5
    There is only a crawl space no room for the equipment plenty for duct work though. The problem with climatemaster is their contractor is very shady and his quote was out of this world
    Last edited by Aerojoe; 10-29-2007 at 05:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by Aerojoe View Post
    There is only a crawl space no room for the equipment plenty for duct work though. The problem with climatemaster is their contractor is very shady and his quote was out of this world over 20k compared to around 15K for the other contractors.
    First, be carefull with mentioning prices, I would edit those out. Second, while I would not go with a "shady" contractor, I also would not choose a geothermal contractor on price alone. If the loop field isn't done right, your screwed. As for the specifics of the system, none of us are able to see your situation from the internet, but assuming the crawl space is not vented, I would prefer the duct in the crawl space instead of the attic. Is there a closet the unit could sit in?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    5
    I don't want prices the crawl space is vented and will have the first floor duct work in it the windows are closed in the winter months. I never go by price which is why I won't go with the highest price he was shady. I am just curious about the geothermal brands and quality.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    5
    Has anybody ever herd of Bard heat pumps? Never herd of them and just got another estimate from another contractor quote same as another contractor using waterfurnace.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Maryville Tennessee
    Posts
    92
    We have installed many Florida Heat Pumps and a few Bards. Both are very good units and very reliable. I have been to a couple of Climate Master schools and there equipment seems to be the best in colder climate areas. We have only installed one Climate Master, can't tell you how reliable they are. I would get the hot water recovery system with whatever you decide. Proper installation and setup of a geothermal unit is the most important.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas (Plano), TX
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by Aerojoe View Post
    ... just got another estimate from another contractor quote same as another contractor using waterfurnace.
    I just had two WaterFurnace Envision GSHPs installed this past summer (closed loop system, both compressors dual capacity, and variable speed blower motors). My observation so far, and from measurements, is that the WF Envision units are performing to their advertised specs. Pretty impressive performance.

    I believe, and agree with others, that quality of installation is key, and having a good design to start with.

    It's a big project, and not everything will go perfect. Having an installer who can handle the surprises will be a plus.

    Check with WF for installers they recommend and trust - that's how I found the installer for our WF equipment.

    Best regards,

    Bill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    southern IN
    Posts
    527
    Quote Originally Posted by tecman View Post
    Waterfurnace was started by guys who left ClimateMaster
    Actually Waterfurnace was started in the Late 70's in a garage in Fort Wayne, In and grew from there. Climatemaster bought WFI engeneering dept about 6 yrs ago: hence the similarities..

    Being a geo tech for 15 yrs. Worked on about every brand. WFI has great product line and excellent tech support' which is a key in todays complex equipment. Find a good contractor and you cant go wrong.

    P.S. I must admit I am biased, We install abbout 40 WFI units a year.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mount Gilead, Ohio
    Posts
    170
    We install mostly Florida Heat Pumps and lately a few Carrier split geo's. What do you guys think about these systems.

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