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Old 01-01-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Geothermal cold air returns


I recently had a geothermal system installed. My house has two floors above grade and a full finished basement below grade (three floors total). The Geothermal system is installed in the basement. The concern that I have is the cold air ducting from the two floors above the basement are not connected back to the plenum (like they use to be with the old system).
Instead the plenum runs up from the basement floor (vertically) approx 6 feet where they then installed the air filtration system on top of the plenum. The cold air return from the two floors above runs horizontal and was left open (not connected) to the plenum and ends approx 1.5 feet to the left of the vertical plenum. When asked, we were told that Geothermal system would still pull air from the above two floors and the basement as well and did not need to be connected. Does this sound correct?

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Old 01-01-2010, 09:08 PM   #2
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Geothermal cold air returns


Sounds like a lame excuse not to finish the job.

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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Geothermal cold air returns


After pushing to understand my possiblities of a new HVAC system, I am now looking into Geothermal. The possiblity is very pleasing, tax credit for one, and lower utility bills. Of course the upfront costs are more, but may make sense. Any down sides besides upfront costs to thinking this way. I am now talking with a firm with an engineer on staff.
Thank to you for the advice you gave me previously about looking for a HVAC designer or engineer.
Now I just need to know what the downside is, and what needs to be established before I look further.

Thanks,
This is a great resource and community!
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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May or may not have a good payback. Depends on utility rates, and size of home.

Nothing wrong with Geo though.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Geothermal cold air returns


Thanks,
Living in TVA area supposedly our electric is the best in the country, but... we are depending on them to stay this way.
30% tax rebate may help with total costs besides the monthly savings.
So it is interesting to consider and investigate, just don't really know anyone who has done this at this time.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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Geothermal cold air returns


We have a constant 57 degrees, I am sitting on rock but I am on a small river, and I own the property to the middle. I have a company tomorrow giving it a look and going to purpose both HVAC and Geothermal. Now I must get my geothermal questions in order if it is reasonable. Any suggestions further I would like to hear them.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
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Geothermal cold air returns


What ton system.
How many wells, and how deep.
or if slinky, how long will the loop be, and how deep.
Return on investment time.
Will geo be sized to handle heating load at design temps without back up/aux heat.
What brand do they carry/use.


PS: You won't have a constant 57 ground temp when the geo is running.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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Geothermal cold air returns


Thanks, all good questions to which I have no answers now.
House size is 1,600 sq foot. For now I have been quoted 2-2.5 ton HVAC systems, 13 SEER. I will find out this week about geothermal when I meet with contractors for an estimate.

Thanks for such a great community! I will share my insight as I learn.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:53 PM   #9
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Geothermal cold air returns


Is that Two 2.5 tons systems.
Or between 2 and 2.5 tons?
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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Geothermal cold air returns


I have been quoted for both, but the most detailed estimate was 2.5 tons.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:06 PM   #11
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The geo estimates will probably be for 4 or 5 tons.
And 2 stage equipment.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:42 PM   #12
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Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:08 PM   #13
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Geothermal cold air returns


Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty mouse View Post
I recently had a geothermal system installed. My house has two floors above grade and a full finished basement below grade (three floors total). The Geothermal system is installed in the basement. The concern that I have is the cold air ducting from the two floors above the basement are not connected back to the plenum (like they use to be with the old system).
Instead the plenum runs up from the basement floor (vertically) approx 6 feet where they then installed the air filtration system on top of the plenum. The cold air return from the two floors above runs horizontal and was left open (not connected) to the plenum and ends approx 1.5 feet to the left of the vertical plenum. When asked, we were told that Geothermal system would still pull air from the above two floors and the basement as well and did not need to be connected. Does this sound correct?
Get the people back and tell them to hook up the return plenum!! Air has the least path of resistance, just like water. It will draw from the easiest place, the open air!

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