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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    4

    Can't Justify Ground Source Heat Pump

    I just paid $625 for 174 gallons (less than 1 months worth) of home heating oil. So I thouhgt I would look into saving some money. I had a contractor give me a bid for a ground source heat pump.

    Here is his proposal for a 6 Ton system for my 3400 sq foot home in Massachusetts.

    * One Carrier GT-PX water-to-air geothermal heat pump installed in place of the existing furnace in basement. Unit features a two stage compressor, Puron refrigerant (does not deplete the ozone layer), variable speed fan, and is Energy Star compliant.

    * One vertical U-bend closed loop geothermal system with fusion welded
    polypropylene piping 5’ below grade in yard

    * All necessary excavation and clean up for the well drilling

    * Flow Center with Grundfos circulating pump

    * Two electronic heating and cooling thermostats

    * Modify existing ducts in basement to create a two zone system

    * All necessary low voltage for new system provided

    * All necessary line voltage mechanical connections provided

    * Connect heat pump desuperheater to existing gas-fired hot water heater

    We propose to furnish materials and labor in complete accordance with the above specifications for the sum of: $x

    The problem is that if I take out a 20 year home equity loan my payments will be $347/month.

    At current oil prices $3.60/gallon I'll save $210/month on oil (700 gallons/year spread out over 12 monhts).

    I know I will also save electricity in the summer on my A/C but I suspect that those saving can't be more than my electrical costs to run the heatpump in the winter.

    Now if oil goes to $5/gallon (pleasant thought) or if the price drops to below $xit might make sense.

    thoughts?
    Last edited by jrbenny; 04-05-2008 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,763
    pricing not allowed. stick with oil or go duel fuel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    86
    With geothermal, you’ll heat you home for about 25% of what it’s costing now. You’ll also air-condition your for about 40 – 45% less than what it costs now and you’ll have domestic hot water at a greatly reduced price. You’ll also increase the value of your home beyond what any other system will add. You do the math with projections out to 5 – 10 years and beyond. See if you can afford not to go geo.

    SR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    4
    That's the problem I'm having, I just can't make the numbers work. Can't use real number here (sorry about that) but everytime I run the numbers I don't see a payback in less than 20 years and that is if I assume the price of Oil will average $5/gallon over that period.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,189
    At current prices, I have customers calculating a 49 year payback on geo. Of course, we have some of the lowest utility rates in the country.
    Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Geo will save you more then any hvac system. When properly installed. If your contractor is going to use the desuperheater option, you must use a separate tank called a buffer tank to circulate water from the desuperheater before it goes to your gas waterheater.If the desuperheater is piped directly to the gas waterheater the desuper heater will not function to its full potential as it will be going off on temp limit because of the burners heating the water as the dip tube picks up water to be circulated o the desuper heater. No manufacturer recommends connecting directly to the gas water heater. Geo has less maintenance, no flue gasses, helps heat the domestic water ect. If you replace the system with anything else it will more then likely have to be replaced and will never pay its self back. Geo installs will normally out live most other hvac systems 2 to 1. As for the a/c savings, a geo unit is at least 2.5 times more efficient if not more in the a/c mode then an air source heat pump, and if you have the desuper heater option, all of the heat you are absorbing from the cooling mode is heating your domestic water, for free! Geothermal hvac systems are my best selling upgrades now and the people who buy them are shocked at the energy savings, more then they had hoped for. For example a waterfurnace system we installed almost two years ago in a 4700 square foot home that is all electric, well insulated, two zone system, 80 gallon buffer tank ( for desuperheater ) tied to an 80 gallon electric tank, four people living there and the bill in jan. was 163.00 total utilities for the month. Get more then one bid, use an IGSHPA accredited company and ask for references. Geo can save you a lot of money when properly applied.
    Last edited by geodude; 04-05-2008 at 06:56 PM.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,753
    Redo your calculation with oil average $7.50 a gallon. I think you'll find thats a more realistic average in teh next 15 years.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    86
    Considering that this is a system that you will use every day 24/7. In 5 years from now, when energy prices may well have doubled - yet again! Which will haunt you more; that you did do geothermal – or that you didn’t…

    Just a thought.

    SR

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    In five years energy prices WILL more then double!
    In Oregon, in my area natural gas went from 61.9 cents a therm to 1.30 per therm, in four years! When I moved into my house in 1998 the cost per kilowatt in my coop was 3.5 cents per kw now its 8.5 per kw. Invest in the most energy effcient system you can now, the savings will be sooner and greater, and you can bet the price of a geo install in five years will be more then it is right now.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,576
    I can't get the numbers to work out either. That's one of the reasons we don't install them. In my area (mid south) there will NEVER be a payback vs High SEER/HSPF air source heat pumps. The geo system gets them bragging rights only. Some people have money to burn, some don't, and the latter should do their homework like you have.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    cincinnati ohio
    Posts
    2,024

    geo

    Its been said before and I will say it again ! The least exspensive system cost less to purchase and will save almost as much as the top of the line equipment . Its alot easier to pay off a loan for 5 k than it is to pay off one T 10 K . When upgrading from 13 to 14 seer or hspf you need to look at the payback in real numbers .
    My avatar is a picture of a Goodman Silencer .....These were commonly used in Goodman country ....Photos by hvac tech ( PaysonHVAC )

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    we are talking geo units and there are no seers with a geo, only cop's and eer
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,189
    Well, I really don't care which one you sell because I sell both of them.

    With that, let's see some numbers.

    I've seen numbers from my customers. I've helped both crunch.

    Best payback that I've seen calculated is 24 or 25 years for a geo. Most are around 50 years.

    I see high efficiency air to air at 18 to 20 years ROI.

    So far, in this post, I've just seen rhetoric except by the OP. He's proven the geo just doesn't have the ROI.

    What say ye?
    Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.

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