I just joined this forum and have read quite a number of threads dealing with various geothermal issues. Have found quite a bit of useful info, and am wondering if I can get any opinions about options for my specific situation:
We have a 2-acre property in rural PA, and plan to build a log cabin on in next year. Although we'll only use it several weeks a year as a vacation home, we plan to also rent it to other vacationers and possibly to students at a nearby college during the off-season. Since renters who don't pay for utilities are not known for energy conservation practices, we're interested to invest in an HVAC system with a low cost of operation.
The property is between the confluence of two streams and has a high water table. We're also thinking of creating a small (maybe 7500 sq ft) pond for fishing and swimming. There is already a well to supply the cabin's plumbing, and a water softener -- left from a cabin we're planning to demolish.
I've already had a couple geothermal installers out to look at the property, and both are recommending horizontal closed-loop systems.
My question is this: Should I be looking at other options? What about a pond loop? How big and deep a pond is needed for that? Or a "pump and dump" open-loop system that would feed the pond?
We need to keep installation costs as low as possible. Ultimately, it might still make the most sense to install an air-source heat pump and deal with the higher utility bills, but first I'd like to explore options for a reasonably well-priced geothermal system that would be efficient, reliable and long-lived.
Thanks for any advice you can give me ...