Geothermal Retrofit in Central Florida
Just looking for some input into replacing my existing heat pump unit with a geothermal system. My home was build in 1999, and the units are the original ones. I expect I will need to replace the two units (2.5 and 3.5 ton) in the next 18 to 24 months as the replace cost of parts, low efficency (SEER 10), and age 10+ years is going to start to really impact my heating/cooling costs.
My property is in a transitional land area of the Central florida (ie, it is not flood land, but it is not high and dry either) thus the water table is fairly shallow (2-4 feet below the surface, even with our drought). I have plenty of area (5 acres) to run a horizontial closed loop system or maybe a vertical down to the shallow aquafier.
My questions are pretty simple.
1. Does anybody know of a reliable and knowledgeable installer/retrofitter of geothermal heating/cooling systems in the Central Florida area?
2. What kind of performance should I expect out of a geothermal system, compared to traditional heat pump. Are cooling temps to say 74° degrees reasonable in summer with 100°+ temps and usually close to 100% humidity?
I know that within 2 or 3 years, electric rates will approach close to 17¢/kwh or higher (already at 14¢/kwh with fuel surcharges). So the impact to my heating and cooling will be pretty significant.