geothermal hydronic heating vs wood boiler


Old 07-22-11, 10:48 PM
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geothermal hydronic heating vs wood boiler

i need some opinions and should i go with wood or geothermal because my goal is to go off the grid eventually in the city for electricity and can i do that with groundsource or will i need wood/pellet vs wood/geothermal? wood for when i am home and geothermal for when on vacation since solar cant produce a huge amount of electric. someone from the heating company said geosource only requires 10 amps 240 volts for my home size. so what is your opinion?
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Old 07-23-11, 05:06 AM
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Not an expert in the field, only a naildriver, but geothermal requires no more than a pump and motor to run it. Water stays the same temperature year round. It is comfortable. I have a friend who installed it 20 years ago, and until the State decided to take part of their front yard as a right of way and destroyed his "field", it worked flawlessly.
There are two ways of doing it. His was probably old school, where they dug ditchces several feet into the earth and laid black pipe in the ditches. More recently I have seen installations where they dig vertical holes and loop the black plastic pipe in the hole (reminiscent of an old moonshine still), then covered it all up.
A pellet stove for backup would be a good choice due to its availability, clean storage of the mediium, and heat production. You would probably only use it in extreme weather conditions, while the geothermal woud provide 90% of your heating and cooling.
Old 07-23-11, 06:44 AM
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I'm not an expert either. I don't know if a pellet stove can be loaded with enough pellets to last a week. I would also be concerned with reliability. Losing your heat during a vacation could be a disaster. Find out if you can use the Grundfos Alpha pumps with the geothermal setup. They consume a lot less energy than a stanadrad pump. Though I don't know if they are appropriate for this application. Be sure to air seal and insulate your home as well. That is going to reduce your electricity needs and help you achieve your goal. Keep us posted on what you do and how things turn out.

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