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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any suggestions, opinions or remarks. I am in the process of building my personal house and was trying to decide on a heating and cooling system. I live in mid west Ky. I keep the thermostat at about 64 in spring summer and fall and about 75 in the winter. And are certain brands easier maintained. The geo sized for the house will pay for itself in about 10yrs when compared to an 18 seer electrical heat pump according to the calcs form the elect. co-op.
 

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Beenthere, I think the avg life of geo for the Kentucky area is about 35 to 40 years...obviously maintenance costs/replacements of minor equipment in between. Geothermal is definitely the way to go if you can afford the upfront costs which range anywhere from about $30k and up (a lot of the costs are how many holes have to be drilled at about $2k per hole). The operating costs are much lower than the heat pump unit annually. The major drawback as of now is serviceability. There are so few tech's/company's in the geo field that you kind of lock yourself into a select few who can charge an enormous price when needed. More than anything else, check on the reliability of the geo system you pick/ warranty.
 

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That sounds like an exaggerated life span estimate.

Do you know of any Geo's that have the original geo heat pump still working after 30 years?
 

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No, I don't. That's why I said the install price plus normal maintenance/replacement items. However, the heat pump (from what I've heard...just now cking into geothermal in my area) is a lot less than geothermal install. And if he went simply Heat pump...he'd be replacing that install as well in about the same time. The other thing to consider which I forgot is the tax credit for installs. Geothermal is a 100% credit of install including materials and labor credited at up to $1500/yr. A Heat pump install is 30% of the total install up to $1500...one time. I'm not an accountant...and he will want to check with one for the long term/short term benefits.
 

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That sounds like an exaggerated life span estimate.

Do you know of any Geo's that have the original geo heat pump still working after 30 years?
I have a competitor that's been running open loop pumps at his shop, home, and office for over 30 years. As far as I know, he's using his original pumps. Granted, it's an open loop system, so there's no closed loops in the ground to deal with.

How good the geo system is is going to be directly related to how good the loop installations are. If they screw the loops up, whether vertical or horizontal, it won't work. Most of the HVAC guys can size the systems correctly, but if they low ball the driller or excavator and someone skimps on the thermal grout or other products, you'll have a hell of a time getting it to work right.

Just my two cents.
 

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For your climate zone, geothermal is probably the right choice. Once you are below 25 degrees your backup source will have to kick in. Is it going to be open or closed loop. If it is open loop make sure to have your water tested. Some manufacturers are requiring it as they are having warranty issues with their water coils.

By the way, the federal tax credit on geothermal is 30% of the cost of the job with no cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Yeah the 30% tax credit is one reason I'm strongly considering the geo. I am considering the comparisons between a Envision geo vertical closed loop system, 3ton main floor and 2ton 2nd floor vs a 22 seer Frigidare heat pump system, 3 ton main floor and 2ton 2nd floor vs a 16 seer Frigidare heat pump system, 3 ton main floor and 2ton 2nd floor.
The geo being the most expensive of course with the 22 seer being $3000 cheaper and the 16 seer being $7800 cheaper.
It seems to me the geo would be money well spent, considering the tax credit not to mention the domestic hot water that the system will provide.
I know the heat pumps of today are very efficient but wanted to get you alls take? How do you guys feel about the maintenance and durability of these brands?
 

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Just make sure that you get an experienced installer. Ask for references and check them out. A geo system that is designed and installed correctly will give you many years of comfort, reliability, and savings.
 

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Supposed maintanence and reliability of a brand. Is often a misleading way to select equipment.

When installed properly. Most brands provide reliable service.
Installed wrong. Most brands prove to be unreliable, and a headache.
 
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