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cseel
Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

About 18 months ago we put in a geothermal heat/cooling/hot water heating system; although typically pretty expensive, we got a great "economy of scale" from our efforts because we were putting in a new well at the time.

I get lots of questions about the system so I wanted to offer up my post to let you all know that if you have any questions or are considering such a system, feel free to ask about ours.

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water
cseel wrote:

About 18 months ago we put in a geothermal heat/cooling/hot water heating system; although typically pretty expensive, we got a great "economy of scale" from our efforts because we were putting in a new well at the time.

I get lots of questions about the system so I wanted to offer up my post to let you all know that if you have any questions or are considering such a system, feel free to ask about ours.

I wired a house a few years back and the homeowners had that system installed. The upfront cost was a monster.
How many years before you will see a payback?

Linda
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

We have been wanting to talk to someone who used this type of system. We are restoring an 1820 stone house and wanted to use a system that was not visible since the original heating system was a fireplace at each end of the house. When you installed your tubing did you put it above or below the subfloor? What kind of flooring did you use? Did you use a closed system?

OnTheBenchAgain
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

I looked into Geothermal Heat and AC about three years ago when I bought about a 2500 sq. ft three level town home on a 3500 sq. ft lot. I spoke to my neighbor who said he had looked into it in the past and suggested that we did not have the property to adequacy support the system. The home page of the TOH website peaked my interest again, do you know if the system can be used on a smaller property? Admittedly my desire for such a system is not as much for the earth green as for the cash green and also the added benefit of no outside unit to get in the way of already limited entertaining space.

Any thoughts would be well received.

Thanks

Sherry
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

You can use geothermal on small lots. Your loop field will have to be vertical instead of horizontal. This will make it more expensive.

I looked into putting geothermal in my house a couple years ago. I got a rough ballpark cost of ~$25,000. (This was for a vertical installation.) I would love to put in geothermal but that cost is just too high. I’d consider it at $15,000.

David Gillis
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

I am wanting to heat with hydronics/hot water heater to floor tubing. I would like information on how and what you attached to the hot wter heater to circulate the water.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water
ljmcm wrote:

We have been wanting to talk to someone who used this type of system. We are restoring an 1820 stone house and wanted to use a system that was not visible since the original heating system was a fireplace at each end of the house. When you installed your tubing did you put it above or below the subfloor? What kind of flooring did you use? Did you use a closed system?

Geothermal is a heating unit used to replace a boiler, gas furnace, or oil fired unit. What you are talking about is radiant floor heat which can be used in conjunction with a geothermal unit.
Jack

Sunny H
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

I'd like to learn more about these systems. When I looked into them years ago my contractor discouraged me from getting one. So did every heating contractor I called. I have been told since that they have improved; but still, I have had a builder tell me his was so bad that he pulled it out and replaced it with an oil system.

They make sense on paper, except for their initial cost which is prohibitive. But, if there are tax incentives maybe it might be worth it, if the systems are more reliable.

TOH are you listening?

Sunny H
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

It would be nice to have some feed back from TOH moderators. Haven't they noticed that there have been 5000 views of this Geo-thermal thread? Shows me there's a lot of interest out there.

On the other hand, I have learned a quite a bit since first reading through this thread and posting here, by going to other sites. I was recommended to www.geoexchange.org by someone who put a system in four years ago and loves it. It's a great site. This guy haunted geo sites, especially that one, before taking the plunge.

He has a 2500 sq ft cape which he retrofitted using an open loop system of two wells. His heat, a/c and electric bills have been holding steady at $300 a month year round even with several TVs, computers and lots of light on all day. He does not use the system to heat his water. Our Kw rates are quite high at 19 cents, other areas might do a lot better.

Sunny H
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

Thought I'd add to this post as there is so little on here about geothermal.

I just had a geothermal system installed and it's great! My old house is uniformly warm and cosy for the first time ever, plus this summer it will be air conditioned for the first time and the system will provide a good portion of my domestic hot water for free.

Yes, it's definitely expensive up front; but, after I looked into it, I realized that by using Obama's federal tax credit of 30% I could swing it. (Thank you, Sir!) Plus, I will make the money back in about six to seven years in the savings over oil. Sooner if oil prices rise. So it made sense for me financially. No other system would allow me to do that.

I'd like to encourage people to go to two websites to learn more about geothermal:

www.geoexchange.org and www.greenbuildingtalk.com

Sunny H
Re: Geothermal Heat / Cooling & Hot Water

Now that summer's past I'd like to report that geothermal air conditioning was such a pleasure during this past sweltering July and August. My house is very old, 170 years give or take a few, and we were very comfortable in spite of the warnings by a number of HVAC people that it would never work in my "leaky" house. I'd like to add that we saved about $4000 in heating costs last winter by switching to geothermal. It's been the single best home improvement decision we have made.

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