After getting quotes for a Geothermal system on a 2400 square foot house in Central NJ, as far as I can calculate, the absolute shortest payback period will be 10 years, and a more likely scenario is a payback period of 15-20 or more years. This takes into account that we will not be mortgaging the additional cost of the geothermal, but instead paying out of pocket. We cannot and will not mortgage beyond a certain amount, and geothermal breaks the bank. The gas system we spec'd is the Rheem 90+ dual modulating furnace with a modulating thermostat. Other than satisfying my tree-hugging instincts, can anyone offer any reason to go with a geothermal based on these payback periods? It is unlikely that we will be in the house longer than 15 years, and I have considered the escalating cost of gas. My other concern with installing a geothermal system is the lack of contractors in my area. I scraped to get 2 quotes, and I am concerned about service down the road.
As always, thanks in advance for your replies.
You're right. Go with your gut. You haven't even thought of what it would cost to fix a geo system when it breaks.
Spend a little of that money on better insulation. You can hug a tree by just using less fuel too.
I also went through the geothermal debate w/myself and decided to go with a dual fuel system (Bryant 355mav furnace and 698b hp). It was considerably less expensive and I can run the furnace during power outages w/modest size generator.
Here's a link to a thread where I compared b4 and after energy usage: http://www.hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthr...threadid=94436
[Edited by pgmr on 01-16-2006 at 04:00 PM]
How about the dual fuel using oil furnace with b-20 blend of bio diesel. The gas is a good way to go also. Just a thought, seemed to me they're are alot of fuel oil dealers in Joisey that should offer bio. We are here in Oregon, the stuff is working well. Good Luck.
By the way, we do a pretty good share of Ground source heat pumps, their are many ways to do the loop system that can be less expensive However, if your concerned about service issues don't even consider it. Knowledge is key to these systems. Michael
Proud supporter of Springfield Millers and Oregon Ducks.
Are you looking at the payback as the difference in the two systems ?
Also what about state incentive for installing a geo system ?
Do you think that gas will be getting any cheaper in the next few years ? Most experts feel that electric prices will increase at a fraction of the rate of other fuels.
Are you factoring in the energy savings of hot water generation with a geo system ?
Savings in the cooling season are also significant with geo. Make sure you factor it all in.
Has anyone done an evaluation with a program like GeoDesigner for your house ? This program will give fairly accurate cost savings for a full year given energy costs, equipment types and house demands.
I think geo is a wise choice even with the longer payback. It is efficient, quiet, clean and reliable heating and cooling.
I did a straight comparison of the cost to install a conventional system versus the cost to install geothermal. At a minimum, I'm looking at a $15,000 price difference, and one quote was more than a $20,000 difference. I looked at it from the standpoint of putting $20,000 or $15,000 in the bank today at 4% interest versus putting away the $1200 to $2000 per year estimated savings I would get for geothermal. I got the $1200 to $2000 by talking to people who had installed geothermal systems in similarly sized homes. I had figured my total electric bill would run $100-$140 per month on a geo system. I based the projected gas and electric charges based on what we have paid in the past in similarly sized homes. I included the cost of hot water savings in the system. I also factored in the cooling season. I don't think the state incentive in NJ is any better for a geothermal system than it is for a 90 plus efficiency gas furnace, but I may be wrong there.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had to scrape to get 2 quotes to install a geo system. Find someone with a GeoDesigner program?--with the experience I had in getting quotes, I think I would have to search the ends of the earth to find sometone to do this. My experience in getting 2 quotes leaves me with an overriding concern on the availability of people to service a geo system once installed.
first, as with ANY system, insulate, caulk, shade! eg: cut your losses/ gains.
harvest rainwater,make SHADE,R75/50/30= roof/wall/floor, use HVAC mastic,caulk all wall seams!
Here are the links I have for Geo-Thermal. You can contact them and find contractors in your area of NJ. Also ask them for any rebates that are available through Federal and State programs, along with your local utility supplier.
A 10 year payback for such a high efficient unit seems awfully long. Continue checking and researching. You wont be sorry.
As has been stated insulation should be first on your list.
If Geo-Thermal Ground Source Heat Pump is installed and designed properly you will not be paying 100.00 per month for electric with 2400 sq.ft. You can also use de-superheater and heat the hot water for your home also with geo-thermal system.
I have serviced and installed and designed geo-thermal with variable drive split air handlers and the operaing cost is very low compared to an air-to-air..
Climatemaster now has system with 27.0 E.E.R. rating. There are NO air -to -air system with that kind of rating.
Sure you can get some great systems with variable drive but when the ambient temperature gets above 95* what kind of rating is your machine getting then.....
Geo-Thermal has very little problems if installed and closed loop is lad out and sealed properly.I most of the time only had to add small amout of water for expansion during different seasons and now you can add bladder tank for the make-up water to keep system full at 35 psi.
I have done homes with 5800 sq.ft. that most ever paid was 140.00 to 160.00 for electric and also had other items to consider for electric usage..
'Life begins with the journey each day'
Post your email in your profile and I can do some evaluation runs for you.
I have manual J calculations that I can share if that will help. Thanks.
I have tried each of those links. The only manufacturers that appear to have reps in my area are Water Furnace and Econar. I've tried calling suppliers listed with other manufacturers, leaving messages, and have not received return phone calls after numerous calls. This indicates to me that when I need service on a geo system, I may be SOL when there is only 1 or 2 companies in my area that do this kind of work.
We recently did research in central NJ and only found one HVAC vendor that had really installed several Geo system. We called his references and all of the folks had their systems in over a year and were happy. When we got his quote we fainted. We figured he knew he had the market cornered... So being a general contractor we decided to tackle the job ourselved. As of last week, 9 closed loops in place, we have two systems pumping out heat.
I see a few more new contruction signs with Goethermal vendor signs up so give New Jersey a couple more years and there will be more experieced contractors out there.