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  1. #27
    I just replaced an oil burner w/a heat pump. I even went with the Infinity plus ductwork even though that doubled the cost of a Performance with old ducts. I did a detailed ROI and to my great surprise, found the HP was worth replacing immediately. Other than what you have already considered, I added new living area, 30 ft2 at $150/sqft, plus value of AC, plus less diesel smell and dirt and constant air cleaning. The indoor unit went in my crawlspace. Your home resale is a bit easier with HP instead of oil.

    Other than a few install issues and the unexpected "whine" from the outdoor unit, it was a good move. The Infinity controller lives up to its reputation here.
    The decision for Infinity was to feel better for a 3T (efficiency) and cosmetic (quieter). We live in a very quiet rural area and I can hear my neighbor's brand new HPs (low end Bryant and low end Lennox) from 200 feet away.

    - Billster

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    East Grand Forks, MN
    Posts
    1,373
    Now if oil goes to $5/gallon (pleasant thought) or if the price drops to below $xit might make sense.

    thoughts?
    Yeah!
    Don't do it!!
    It's too expensive and no savings!!!

    Look for something else.

    I like Geothermal, but it does not always pay for itself less than 10 or 7 or 5 years. It all depends on your util prices and install cost.
    Perhaps this contractor didn't sized the house correctly nor the equipment correctly.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Quote Originally Posted by bob hubbard View Post
    Is there a geo chart similar to this one ? http://www.hvacopcost.com/
    I have not seen one yet, perhaps someone else has and can post it? Most of those types are based on air source. Waterfurnace has one on their web site, I don't know if Climate master does. Geo is awesome, BUT not always the right application. Horizontal loops will be a lower cost to install then vertical.
    Air source would be better then straight oil. If you are set up for oil put in a varible speed oil and a 16 or 18 seer heat pump, or a geosplit even. Just buy the most energy effcient system you can afford now, energy costs are not going down and never will.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885

    hvacrmedic

    You are correct in the fact that a larger home will benefit more then a small one.
    I have only installed one geo system in a house under 2000 sg ft. The HO insisted on the geo and would not listen to any other option, of course I was happy to oblige! Most of my installs are on 3000 to 12,000 sq ft homes. many are retros because ten years ago they put in low efficiency equipment and the energy bills are staggering. an open loop would level the playing field even more.
    I should add that I never saw the cost for the OP bid. It was deleted before I saw it.
    Last edited by geodude; 04-06-2008 at 12:55 PM.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    23
    This is an interesting discussion and parallels what I have been finding.
    payback on geo is a long haul. almost fell over when i saw the price of a 6t water to water heat pump. hard to justify the incremental cost for a geo system over air source, but im trying.....

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    11,347

    *

    the colder the climate is in your area, the quicker your roi will be with the geo!



    .

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    The problem with many of the payback/ROI calcs, is there is no way to acturately predict the cost of electric 10 years down the road.
    PA will be seeing rate hikes 30 to 40% in 2010.
    After that, they may increase at lower or higher percentages (part of the competitive deregulation) every 5 years.

    It unfortunately comes down to trail and error with todays energy markets.
    I know its not your term... not trying to bash you for it... but does anyone else see "competitive deregulation" as a complete oxymoron? How is it supposed to decrease rates when all it really does is bring more middle-men into the picture to make an extra buck??? Have rates decreased anywhere after deregulation?

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Quote Originally Posted by Dunfudgin View Post
    This is an interesting discussion and parallels what I have been finding.
    payback on geo is a long haul. almost fell over when i saw the price of a 6t water to water heat pump. hard to justify the incremental cost for a geo system over air source, but im trying.....
    Having not seen the original price its hard to say. but the smaller the home, the longer the ROI is. What this is going to boil down to is simply buy the most efficient system you can afford now. The energy costs are going to continue to spiral up. One thing you should be considering is how long your going to stay in your home. Any high efficiency system will add value to your home. But if you are only going to stay there 5 years or so then some one else will enjoy the energy savings unless you can sell the home with the original installation cost tied into the selling price. Does your local utility have incentives or rebates or the state you live in? ( tax credits )
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    4

    Some more information

    Yes the $347 was the monthly payment on a 20 year home equity loan to pay for the full installation.

    This was my fist bid, so I have not yet asked about an open loop system, but from what I've read I don't think that would be recommended because my water is very hard. Also this installer only does fixed bid on vertical systems he said he would do a horizontal one but he will not guarantee a price because of the rocky nature of our soil.

    I have no problems with my current system so the "justification" was for removing a working 10 year old systems and putting in the new one. And no I didn't deduct the cost of making the second zone ( I don't think it is significant in this case).

    The biggest factor in my calculations that I think I should change is the cost of oil. I was using $3.60/gallon. (price of last fill). I think a better number to use would be $5.95. I arrive at this by assumes oil prices go up by 5% a year for the next 20 years. ( I am sure that statement alone could spawn several threads here - but I have to use some estimate and I going with this one for now). At that price point I figure the system would be "justified". As long as the system lasts at least 20 years and that the price of oil average at least $5.95/gallon over the next 20 years I will make out financially.

    Now that I feel this might be a good move I'm going to get a bid from another contractor. And no I will not let price be the only factor in choosing a contractor

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,275
    Quote Originally Posted by traverse View Post
    Yes the $347 was the monthly payment on a 20 year home equity loan to pay for the full installation.
    The number, imo, makes no sense. $83 000 is what will be out of your pocket by the time you are through. I'd be curious to know what type of interest rate your bank is giving you.

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    4
    The rate would be 7.37%. I've double checked the numbers. When you finance something over 20 years there is a lot of interest to be paid.

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    I have found in my area at least that vertical bores are mind numbingly expensive. We can do horizontal loops for less then half the cost of a vertical loop. The bedding of the tubing is important on horizontal loops. Some times the top 2-3 feet of soil is good and you can separate the dirt as you dig with the track hoe. Good top soil on one side and rock and crap on the other side. When you back fill the trench you bed the pipe with the good stuff and throw the crap on top of that. You can also bring in fill from another source to bed the tubing. If your contractor has any geo experiance at all he will have many choices for loops. Vertical loops are the most expensive to install.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    20

    Response to Zeiss Nut

    Zeiss Nut,

    What I have stated in my previous post is correct - I know my bills.

    I am on PECO's " All Electric" rate, which is $0.147 for the first 600 KWhr and after that $0.073/ KWhr. In our home, the base electricity usage during winter months for the past couple of years has averaged around $95.

    This year my electric bills for Jan, Feb and Mar (2008) have averaged $160/month.

    The average propane usage/yr is also correct. Now that our house has a geothermal system, I am not completely off propane. We still use propane to run our tankless water heater - we are currently averaging about $400/yr at current propane price.

    I hope to save some of that by activating the hot water desuperheater, soon.

    In the summer months the electric rate will go up $0.167/KWhr after the first 600 KWhr. I hope to save some money then too because the geothermal system will do better than my old inefficient AC.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    VK

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