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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Those results are typical for my area as well, propane costs can reach near three dollars a gallon, oil is more then that. A recent install was done last october on a home with propane and a/c, he has now saved almost 2800.00 to date. Less then six months, on a 3000 sq ft home. I have dozens and dozens of jobs like this one. However I have only done one vertical loop. They just cost too much around here, at 15.00 a foot or more here, unless its a commercial job with lots of bores, it is very exspensive to do a vertical loop!
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  2. #41

    Closed Loop

    Do closed loop system lose the efficiency during extermly cold winter days?

    It was suggested to me that since the heat is being extracted form the ground, that during cold days the ground tempature is reduced which causes the units to not operate as efficiently. True?

    Also, how deep are the closed loops buried? I know they are below the frost line (36 inches here in Northwest Indiana), but how deeper?

    Thanks
    Tom

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Quote Originally Posted by tmeschede View Post
    Do closed loop system lose the efficiency during extermly cold winter days?

    It was suggested to me that since the heat is being extracted form the ground, that during cold days the ground tempature is reduced which causes the units to not operate as efficiently. True?

    Also, how deep are the closed loops buried? I know they are below the frost line (36 inches here in Northwest Indiana), but how deeper?

    Thanks
    Tom
    Closed loops remain fairly constant on the temps, Typical depths are 5 feet down. ( horizontal) The surface temp of the soil makes little difference at five feet. Find a good loop contracter in your area or find someone from loop master to help you. the soil temps vary from region to region. At my house it can have 6 inches of snow on the ground and be 25 degrees and my loop is 48 degrees. The spacing between the tubing will determine thermal transfer rate as well as type of soil and length of loop circuit. Check out www.igshpa.okstate.edu/ this is a good web site for ground loop and geo info. One of the best
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  4. #43
    Seems to be a big debate on this one - my sources reiterate the notion of a geo system paying for itself in 8-10 years, though I agree with a previous post: it all depends on the type of climate in which you live.

    I am not claiming to be an expert in the finances of a geo versus any other type of heating system, but am mostly adding a thought here:

    In Ontario, when replacing a heating system with Geo, homeowner can get a rebate up to $7,000:

    In Ontario, a home energy retrofit program has been created. It provides homeowners with grants of up to $5,000 for home energy improvements and mirrors the federal ecoENERGY program. This makes resident eligible for an additional $3,500 for the installation of a qualifying geothermal system.

    this is taken from http://www.northernheatpump.com/rebates.cfm

    Also note, the $3,500 would be the Ontario rebate, and the Federal Govt matches it (either that, or it is the Federal and Ontario matches it - can't remember which).

    Also, another little website:

    http://www.geo-exchange.ca/en/cost_s...tions_faq8.php

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    698
    Quote Originally Posted by tmeschede View Post
    Do closed loop system lose the efficiency during extermly cold winter days?

    It was suggested to me that since the heat is being extracted form the ground, that during cold days the ground tempature is reduced which causes the units to not operate as efficiently. True?

    Also, how deep are the closed loops buried? I know they are below the frost line (36 inches here in Northwest Indiana), but how deeper?

    Thanks
    Tom
    To try to answer your questions, there are a few factors involved. Depending on the depth of the loop, the ground temp will vary seasonally. Deeper is better. I usually try for 7-8' if possible. The second factor is that the ground is being cooled in the winter by your system. Since ground is a relatively poor heat conductor (1 BTU/foot/deg F on average), you will chill the ground below it's natural state. This is needed to get the heat flow. I find that seasonally you will get 10-15 deg change, and another 10 degrees or so due to the heat extracted. This is why you need antifreeze in the loop as the dead of winter water temps can reach into the 20's exiting the heatpump. This of course does lower the efficiency somewhat. Even a vertical closed loop will have localized cooling around the bore holes. The verticals I have done also can get below freezing as well and need antifreeze. Open loop pump-and-dump systems will maintain efficiency, but cost to install, have higher pumping costs and lower reliability due to water quality.

    Download the booklet at: http://www.mcquay.com/mcquaybiz/lite...al_021607b.pdf

    It is one of the best general references I have found.

    paul
    Last edited by tecman; 04-12-2008 at 04:45 PM.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,275
    Quote Originally Posted by tecman View Post
    Download the booklet at: http://www.mcquay.com/mcquaybiz/lite...al_021607b.pdf

    It is one of the best general references I have found.

    paul
    Oh god that manual is sexy.

  7. #46

    Cool

    Geothermal hands down!!!! And sounds like a smart company so thats the second key of the job!

  8. #47

    Geothermal Quotes in PA

    I've also been shocked by propane costs (now over $4/gal.) and wanted to do something with a better long term outlook that is more sustainableand flexible for the future. I got two quotes from contractors for 3-ton systems (I live in Lancaster County, PA in a 2200 sq.ft 1980s home) both in the same range. I was expecting quotes much less, so I'm trying to justify the cost when I'm unsure of the comfort (I heard geothermal needs to be on more often, causing more alergy issues potentially) and actual savings. For example, if my system cannot keep up in the winter, how much will I be going to the 10Kw backup electric resistance and negating any savings I might get? By the way, we currently use about 500 gal propane and 4,000Kwh on heat/ac/hotwater electricity in a year.

    I'm leaning towards doing it, but without a crystal ball on energy prices (especially electric - if it outpaces propane the change is less meaningful) it's seems like a BIG gamble.
    Thoughts?
    Last edited by danpatgal; 05-09-2008 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Removing quote prices

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,745
    Even after PPL raises their rates 30 to 40% in 2010, its doubtful it will have surpassed propane. Propane isn't going to get cheaper in 2010.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    40
    I find it hard to believe that you will see a savings of 100,000.00 by the time you die. Thats assuming of course you are in your late 30's. Maybe it's possible if your in your late teens. Of course this is all relative of when it's your time to go. My luck, I pay 100 g's and I croak 5 yrs. later.... lol

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Quote Originally Posted by danpatgal View Post
    I've also been shocked by propane costs (now over $4/gal.) and wanted to do something with a better long term outlook that is more sustainableand flexible for the future. I got two quotes from contractors for 3-ton systems (I live in Lancaster County, PA in a 2200 sq.ft 1980s home) both in the same range. I was expecting quotes much less, so I'm trying to justify the cost when I'm unsure of the comfort (I heard geothermal needs to be on more often, causing more alergy issues potentially) and actual savings. For example, if my system cannot keep up in the winter, how much will I be going to the 10Kw backup electric resistance and negating any savings I might get? By the way, we currently use about 500 gal propane and 4,000Kwh on heat/ac/hotwater electricity in a year.

    I'm leaning towards doing it, but without a crystal ball on energy prices (especially electric - if it outpaces propane the change is less meaningful) it's seems like a BIG gamble.
    Thoughts?
    If your new system doesen't keep up, it wasn't sized correctly. The biggest gamble would be on propane. We are headed for a train wreck in this country when it comes to fossil fuel. Geothermal will be your lowest operating cost if sized right. You should also investigate your building envelope. ( shell) No sense in in putting a high end system and having a leaky house. Have a blower door test done to determine the integrity of your shell. Having your fan on more often and contributing to allergy symtoms is caused by leaky ducts and leaky building shell, not the heatpump.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  12. #51
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    7
    I haven't heard much talk about what the future holds for improvements to geo and traditional a/c units. If geo units double in efficiency in 10 years is it worth upgrading? Will traditional a/c systems catch up and be as efficient as my geo system in 5 years, 10 years or ?

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    Quote Originally Posted by smcmurrey View Post
    I haven't heard much talk about what the future holds for improvements to geo and traditional a/c units. If geo units double in efficiency in 10 years is it worth upgrading? Will traditional a/c systems catch up and be as efficient as my geo system in 5 years, 10 years or ?
    There is a big difference between an a/c unit and a watersource/ground source heatpump. The effciency gains in air source a/c and hp's in the future will more then likely never meet or exceed the effciencies of a geo unit. Air source has come a long ways, so has geo. There are things manufactures are working on that will bring higher effciencies to both, but they will probably never be equal.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

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