View Poll Results: Which system should I go for?
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GeoThermal and POND LOOPS
I hope I can get some good advice here.
I recently purchased a dream house on a deep pond in Massachusetts. It is a ranch-style house surrounded by a state forest - only 8 other houses on the pond.
We have an oil boiler that is from the mid-1970's, and it needs to be replaced.
Simplest thing to do would be to replace the boiler - one suggestion is a Burnham v84, Beckett burner, and an indirect water heater.
I'd love to go geothermal, but it would be prohibitively expensive unless if I were able to use the pond - either a closed pond loop or open loop. The waterfurnace brand name has been tossed around. I am guessing this would cost 4-5x the cost of the replacement oil boiler. Digging a new well for a heat pump would add another 20k - not possible.
The other option is putting in a Propane boiler and a tankless water heater. I'd be able to shut the boiler down 6-7 months a year and save quite a bit of money.
I'd appreciate your thoughts. I'll never leave this house, so I can think long term.
I also wonder if anyone out there has had difficulty with municipalities over putting a closed or open loop in a pond that borders a state park. Impossible?
Does geothermal always require a backup?
Thanks for any advice.
Pond is a great option, if it meets the needs. It needs to be big and deep enough so that it can provide/absorb the heat from the heatpump. Deeper the better, and as far as size, a couple of acres would be nice. Don't consider open loop. Dirt and silt will be your enemy. Putting loops that are sunk to the pond's bottom would be the way to go. Biggest issue is the neighbor's that you share the pond with, and any local regulations. You will need antifreeze, and the safest, but not the cheapest is ethanol. Any leaks will not prove toxic in the pond, should they occur.
Costs will be relatively low as the only digging should be a simple trench to the pond. The loops in wells or trenches are the biggest cost in geo systems. Assuming you get all of the required permissions, a qualified contractor should be used. WaterFurnace and ClimateMaster are comparable in cost, performance and quality. You should put in electric backup with the geo system. With my own system, it is there but almost never used. It never comes on to provide supplemental heat, it's just not needed. However in case of some sort of failure in the dead of winter, it will be nice to have until the service guy can get there. Last winter my loop pump died, and the unit locked out and electric backup was all I had till I could get to the supply house for a replacement. It does not cost much, but nice in such a case.
i would do either propane or a vertical loop. never been a big fan of pond loops just personel preferance about the pond loop
I worked on one pond loop maybe 25 years ago. It was a Carrier water source heat pump.
The owner liked it and was happy.
I didn't ask if desliming was needed often.
In Mass i would think the ice in winter could get thick. 2' or more.
If the pond is owned in common it could be a problem with some of the others. If the State still owns it who knows.
Tracers work both ways.