Geo's are quite a bit more efficienct then air to air heat pumps. They don't need to go into defrost, and provide teh same amount of BTU's when it 0* outside as when its 65* outside, unlike an air to air.
Yes, an air to air can be mounted with a gas furnace.
If I am fine with waiting for budget to permitt it seems like it would be worth waiting an extra year for Geo thermal.
Am I understanding geo right, in that it eliminates the need for central air but I still would want a modulating furnace/air handler to move the heat?
What brands have modulating furnaces? York, Rheem, anyone else?
Your heat loss calculation( manual J) may not require additional heat or limited supplemental heat. That is stepping a head quite a bit. If you need more than approximately 30k btu of supplemental I would choose a multistage
Not sure what my heat loss will be but I am in Minnesota in a 1914, 1600 sq ft house so I guess my intuition is telling me that if anyone needs supplemental heat it would be me.
If I I do not need the supplemental heat you speak of does that mean I am going over kill on getting the furnace? I would still need the air handler right? I think it is all irrelivant because we don't plan on spending the money for geo this year and need some sort of heat for the winter.
With a geo, you wouldn't use a furnace for aux heat.
Thanks,yeah I am unsure how this stuff works and appreciate you guys dumbing down to explain how it all works; however I am still a little cloudy.
I understand I will be wasting money if I go with geo down the road since I will not need a furnace any longer. BY getting a furnace on the front end instead of geo I am saving on an air handler later (right?). So essentially I am out the difference in what my furnace costs and an air handler?
Having that said would be be better to go with a loower efficency furnace since it will basically be only used for the air handler later? I will see no increased efficency from a modulating 95% than I do a modulating 80% once geo is installed?
You may need some aux heat even with a geo.
Using a furnace as your air handler, would mean the geo stops running to use the aux heat, that would be very inefficient.
So, no you don't use the furnace as an air handler with a geo, you buy an air handler. And store, throw out, give away, or sell the furnace.
Long story short there is no way to purchase any equipment to heat a house for a couple years that won't be junk or at best used as the aux heat source for geo?
So would be be wise to consider a lower effecancy furnace to get geo maybe a year earlier or do most minnesota houses with geo use enough aux heat in the life of a furnace to make it worth it to consider something in the 92-96% range?
I would think your winters are cold enough to justify a 90%+ furnace.
You may not be putting a geo in nearly as soon as you think.
Some areas, geo's can be sized large enough to not require aux heat.
But, don't count on your house being one of those houses.
Maybe I don't understand enough to realize this is really dumb but here goes.......
If I would like to install geo but just can't afford it right now doesn't it seems silly to spend the eqivilant of 5000 double cheese burgers on a furnace and install that will be junk when I get geo? Would it make for sence to take an efficency hit and just buy the air handler now with and electric heating coil that way I save a lot of money on equipment and am that much closer to geo? I know I will lose hundreds of dollars a year using electricity as a heat sourse but it seems better than thousands and gives me motivation to actually go through with geo.
(also if this was done I could probably cut gas all together and save about 30 bucks in a monthly meter charge, as I will need a new water heater soon and could get electric)
I hope this either makes sense or is stupid enough that the smarter people get a good kick out of it.
If you choose to go with geothermal your unit would most likely be one piece.
The Compressor in the air handling unit. These tend to be less pricy than spilt systems. Purchasing an air handler may not be wise. If you choose to do so get one with a ecm motor. This would allow you to adjust air flow better and closer to your requirents. If you plan on doing this get with you chosen hvac provider. They should help chose a complete system that functions best for your home.
Is there anywhere I can figure out ball park prices on these pieces of equipment because everything is relative to money in reality. If I weren't I would get the best most effecient system no questions asked because it would pay for itself eventually. I reality is that it is lot of money up front and if there is any way to almost build it as you go that would be my ideal. It just seems silly to install a system that I will not use down the road.
I understand that most of the time the air handler is built into the compessor but I was considering it as a way to get around installing geo fully the first year. Is there a way that some kind of geo equipment can produce heat from just straight electricty and get the efficency benefits from the loop as I can afford to drill later?
I brought up the electric heating coil and air handerl because I am not as concerned with cooling. I can survive minnesota without central air but not without heat.
Depending on your electric rates, using an electric air handler could cost you more to use then getting and using a gas furnace.
But it would cost the least to install.