Is GSHP right for us?

My wife and I are putting together an offer on a 2000 sq ft home on 17 acres.
It has an unused underground oil tank (probably required to be slurry filled and abandoned), and a coal stove for heat. No A/C, although it's on the north side of a small 'mountain' and very well shaded.
We're thinking of immediately ditching the coal and installing a GSHP system for both heating and cooling. I'm just starting to learn about GSHP's and I have a few immediate questions:
1) Since the septic tank is leaking, would there be potential cost savings in doing one extended excavation and laying the new sand mound alongside the horizontal closed-loop?
2) Any suggestions how to find a competent geothermal contractor in my area who will give us good service?
3) How to estimate the difficulty of excavation? (We don't own the property yet, so our access may be limited). There are very new houses next door on the same soil type. Does it make sense to track down the subs who did the excavation there to comment on how costly it will be?
4) With deregulation looming in 2-3 years, it seems we could recoup the costs in several years. Does anyone have real-world savings they'd like to share? Is it realistic to expect to recoup the initial costs?
Thanks,
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi, You did not mention where this place is?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You're kidding yourself if you think you are going to recoop the additional initial and ongoing costs of geo for a 2000 sq ft house unless electricity is outrageous in your location.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know if costs can be recovered or not. That's why I asked the question. I'm surprised how negative the tone is here.
Maybe a more informative question would be: in what situations would geothermal heat pumps be at their best? (As useful as that website is, they're in the GSHP business so I can't rely on them to provide realistic comparisons to other systems).
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The concept of geo is great. The underground heat source is way better than air during a lot of the winter particularly in the northern part of the continent. But geo has a much higher startup costs and the lack of any volume of them makes services for them rare and expensive. A decent geo system is probably going to be at least 10 times the cost of a basic hp. You're not going to be installing a ground loop in the area you replace the septic tank. You're looking at a couple hundred feet of trench per ton. Without having a clue as to where you are are or what you're trying to heat I'm guessing you'll need a more than 1 ton. If you're going to be there the next 25 years and the thing doesn't break much during that time then you might eventually hit the break even. Be better if you have a big pond on your lot that you can use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Nah...total install...from a horizontal closed loop system...say 5 ton...in my area are about $10K to $12,500.
Take a conventional system....say high efficiency LP/NG furnace and 13 seer central air install of about $6 to $7,000 and the difference of about $3 to $5,000 is what you really need to look at as far as payback on a GT system. And in most cases and electric rates that payback is anywhere from 5 to 7 years.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Does that include the excavation below the frost line, a mile of tubing, covering the mess back up after its been pressure tested, the circ pump, water make-up, water treatment and/or glycol??

For those prices you must be talking about a 2 ton base line system. By comparison, a 5 ton, high efficiency system(90+ furnace, 16SEER, coil, etc) in rural South Mississippi will run you around $11,200, for dual fuel around $14,500. A 5 ton base line system (80+ furnace, 13SEER, coil etc) will run you $9,900.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

He's obviously somewhere with limited fuel choices. He had oil and coil so that means that no natural gas. Propane is outragous so it would be wrong to go that route. He's got electricity. Unless he's in the far northern states a heat pump is probably his best choice. And it's only a 2k sq foot house so the system should not be all that big unless he has insulation issues. And if he has insulation issues then that needs to be fixed before he does anything at all. Insulation is always the best improvement, it doesn't need maintenance or wear out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Nope...the geothermals still have a great payback when comparing the difference in insall costs of the 2 different systems even when the conventional systems are using natural gas. I'd say its probably a 5 year payback against propane and a 7 or 8 year against NG.
Either way, a geothermal beats them both.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You haven't got a clue, dude.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a clue jamesga!!! What he said is right on target. Mr jamesga how many of these have you installed? How many have you researched on costs? Mr Homeowner call Water Furnace directly and ask for the Territory Manager for your area. I am in Eastern PA or I could help you. Don't listen to these assholes on here that are putting it down. They are uneducated in this area of expertise. Actually alot of them have no expertise other than running their big fat mouths!
Merry Christmas
--
Bob Pietrangelo
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (home)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Yup
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Sorry sport.... in this neck of the woods, it will cost $10K -$12.5K *JUST* for the ground loop system, not including the actual heat pump or its installation. I would really like to find either a track hoe or drilling rig and crews to do the loops for free. Last time I put together a quote for a customer that wanted a GSHP, it was gonna be $16K *just* for the ground loop system.... boring a dozen or so holes for wells was going to cost about the same. Total price for the entire GSHP system *installed* was going to run right at $22,000 plus tax.....and that was 6 or 7 years ago. Its gonna be a lot higher now. If you can get it done for half of what I can, then knock yourself out.... but.... consider that the ROI on that GSHP just isn't going to be there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

In Illinois where GT's are pretty common in the country, the install of the loop...horizontal is about $4,000.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And in pa it'll be twice that. Just like the same house will cost 3 times as much.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

get use to it...thats the way they are here....I wouldn't want many guys here working on my HVAC thats for sure...there are only probably a couple of helpful guys here...the rest of them are just bitter HVAC techs that don't like the fact that most people can do what they can do and probably know more than they do.
don't believe me?...just wait til you see the responses to this.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is very realistic to recoup initial costs. But remember, you are not recouping the ENTIRE cost of the geothermal system...just the difference between what a GT costs to install and what a conventional AC and gas furnace would cost to install...because you need to install one or the other anyway.
As far as deregulation.....I live in a state that deregulated, and I can tell you...it isn't anything you want. your costs WILL go up under deregulation. There hasn't been a state that has seen any savings after deregulation yet.
But even if the costs go up...its still cheaper to heat and cool with a GT system....just won't be as much savings as at first.
Currently it is more than likely that a utility in a regulated state has incentives to provide a lower rate to electrically heated homes due to the surplus of load available in the winter. After deregulation that incentive will go away and your costs will go up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Keep the projects seperate... If your installing horizontal loops anywhere near the drain field you'll run the risk of freezing it up. I can show you a cabinaet makers shop just north of me that froze it's main city water line, serving it's sprinkler system, by running the lops too close to the service. Besides the dirtdiver doesn't care if he's scooping one 500 ' trench or 5 100' trenches, as long as there not 5 miles apart.

Consult the IGSPHA certified installers page.

Ask the neighbors, ask the county, ask the local well drillers. They tend to know what the area ground is like down a couple hundred feet.

You'll spend money, & You will save money... If your design temps for the winter stay above 0dF & the bin data shows less that 5-10% below, say 25dF an air source HP might be more affordable. It will still cost more to operate, but you can buy alot of electricity for the price difference.

goodluck geothermaljones st.paul,mn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.