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AndrewF 01-29-2009 06:37 PM

I am looking at upgrading to a geothermal system to take advantage of the $2,000 tax credit available for 2009 installs, which was not available in 2008.

I would have to do a closed loop system as I live in an area with poor wells and am on county water myself.

I have 4 acres and the equipment (backhoe) to dig the trenches and run the line for the outdoor loop.

What type of costs are there for the geothermal system itself? Its pretty much the same thing as an air source heat pump, except for the outdoor condenser becomes the loop and you have a heat exchanger, right?

So would I have to still replace my current AH or could I use that with a geothermal system?

What type of costs do geothermal setups run (not counting installation) which I figure is the highest part of that cost?

Any recommendations or suggestions?

JohnH1 01-29-2009 06:46 PM

I belive with most geo systems you will be replacing the air handler. Although you can always adapt. But if you are going high end geo why woul you go cheep and not replace the air handler. Do it rite do it once. I do not recommend to do on your own. I have not had the chance to install one yet but I have gone through some basic training. This is not a DIY. But you have the equipmpnt and someone may be willing to work with you on this.

beenthere 01-29-2009 07:15 PM

The geo equipment will cost probably 3 plus times what your current equipment did.

You need a Geo guy that knows your area, so that the loops can be sized to your ground conditions.

Also, a Geo is often times sized differently, then an air to air heat pump.

So you rduct system may be a bit small for what would have been the proper size for your house.

AndrewF 01-29-2009 07:32 PM

Thanks guys. I am on an information finding mission right now.

I think my best bet is to drop kick the current AH (with 20kw resistance backup heat) and put in one that has LP as an alternate fuel and bury a tank.

I've got to find a more economical way to heat this house.

---------- actual daily power usage ----
Note: 3.5 hrs left for today, so I imagne today will be another $19 day.

Date --------- KW/HR - Day Cost
Jan 25 2009 201.12 $21.12
Jan 26 2009 187.42 $19.68
Jan 27 2009 179.22 $18.82
Jan 28 2009 160.09 $16.81
Jan 29 2009 166.58 $17.49

Home Air Direct 01-29-2009 10:54 PM

Prices vary with equipment. You can count on at least $2500/ton for pieces and parts without labor and duct work changes.

Figure 600ft of 3/4 Geo-Black per loop per ton, with 1 1/4" supply and return headers. The best runs are 1 loop per trench if you have the space available and labor is not an issue. Layering is fine, but the chances of drying-out and freezing go up.

I agree with Been and Johnh1, that this is a pretty big job. Find a qualified local who is willing to work with you on the piping. Geo requires fusion fittings and a heat fusion iron. This is not something every contractor has.

Also, the dirt work can be time/weather sensitive. You don't want to open trenches and then have them fill up with rain and collapse. This is a GO project once you start. You can usually rent trenchers from your local rental places. Make sure you get one with a 5ft stinger (or longer if available).

The good news, is that if installed correctly, you should see your power bill drop by at least 50% or more.

Good luck and have fun. You seem like the perfect DIY (w/assist) candidate for this project:thumbsup:

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