mudman wrote:hey, did not know if anyone of you guys have a geothermal out there (i love my coal personally ) my father heats with propane and really needs to get away from it. 1100 sq ft ranch, furnace and hot water and bill was over 500 for about 6 weeks. i personally have a hand fired furnace. mentioned they make stoker furnaces or boilers, but still, he really wants geothermal. and yes, he knows it will not be cheap, he understands that. we had a few questions for you guys:
1.how much did you pay?
2.overall experience (heat/cool good, parts hold up, ect)
3.how long before you start seeing savings/ payback time?
4.would you do it again
thank you for reading, and as always, stay warm
I have been involved with several geothermal projects on a commercial scale. I usually don't get involved with residential but I am familiar with several installations.
1. They are not cheap. The two most popular ground heat exchange methods are bore holes with tubing or slinky method. Bore holes are more popular around my neck of the woods as the well drillers have the equipment to make these. Slinky method requires a large excavation. See attached photo.
Expect to pay $7,000 to $10,000 for a system installed for a 1,100 sq. ft. house. Maybe more. Best thing would be to get a contractor to give a quote.
2. There are more moving parts with heat pump systems. Main concern is the compressor as this runs for both heating and cooling. Typical life cycle of a heat pump refrigeration compressor is 15 years but longer life is possible.
3. Pay back is dependent on what you pay for electric vs. propane. Average coeffiency of performace of a ground source heat pump is 3 btu's of heat moved to 1 btu of electric. Some more efficient model are 4 to 1. Use a fuel cost calculator for electric vs. propane and divide the electric cost per kwh by 4. This will give you a ball park. It may or may not be cheaper than propane. If you have to replace the heating system anyway, the payback will be quicker as you only use the cost premium for geothermal in the payback calculation.
4. Most installations are for new or substantially remodelled construction where the building is highly energy efficient. I know people that are very happy with their system and would not change.
Personally, I would investigate energy conservation measures for the house and heating system first. Air leakage is the highest load on any heating system. Caulk, foam in a can and weatherstripping can have very, very fast paybacks. Investigate high efficiency heating equipment also. Depending on how efficient his current system is, a high efficiency furnace may be a good investment.
And yes, they work well above the mason-dixon line.