New Geothermal Heatpump Installation Questions

Old 04-05-12, 01:17 PM
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Cool New Geothermal Heatpump Installation Questions

I am looking for assistance with installing a Geothermal Heatpump for heating and cooling a 3000 sq ft single story building on a slab located in Northern NJ. The building is being renovated for use as a professional office and I will make it as thermally efficient as possible. The building is currently heated using an electric furnace and I certainly want to get rid of this system due to its age and cost of operation. There is ducting available in the attic. The building is currently not serviced by a natural gas connection although it can be piped since the neighborhood has a natural gas. I don't know how much that will cost.

The option that I want to explore is a Geothermal heatpump with a vertical closed loop. Are there any particular brand of equipment that are superior and will do its job of heating and cooling? How much should I budget for a project like this? Should I select a contractor and go with the equipment he sells or the other way round - selecting the equipment or brand and then choosing a contractor recommended by the equipment supplier.

I spoke to one contractor who installs Water Furnace brand of equipment. The preliminary estimates that he gave me was shocking. His rough etimate is $12K per ton of cooling and in his opinion I would need a 5 or 6 ton system. This estimates almost kills the project right from the get go. What kind of cost is involved for the equipment and for the vertical boring that need to be done? I am assuming that those two are the major costs. If it costs so much, I am not sure how Geothermal systems are gaining ground.

Any help or direction will be greatly appreciated.
Old 04-05-12, 06:11 PM
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the loop is the cost! It will not repay itself on a retrofit installation, if it were a new installation on new construction it would most likely pay for itself. You would be better off installing a heat pump system or a hybrid natural gas/ heatpump system.
Old 05-05-12, 04:29 PM
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Geo isn't all it's cracked up to be. I've learned this only in the past 7 months since I've been working on them. Loop & pump installation is CRITICAL as is water quality. Once thru (aka: pump & dump) systems are more efficient initially but fall off quickly with other than ideal water conditions (good luck with that).
Old 05-06-12, 12:19 PM
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I'd do air to air heat pump system.. Geo are not cheap after the fact, best to be done while the building project is being built.

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