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  • Ground Source Heat Pumps

    I am looking for some information on the plus and minuses of these systems. Does anyone here design/install/service these things?

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

  • #2
    Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

    I've put 3 in within the last year and I would never recomend them to anyone (I tried to convince the customers this was a bad idea). Nothing is more efficent but when they break it's usually so expensive that any money saved on the power bill is spent on repairs. That said; here goes:

    -During the winter the heat pump absorb heat from the ground(typical 60 degrees) and release it in the house. You get more heat from 60 degree ground than you do 30 degree air.
    -During the summer the heat absorbed from the house is released in the ground(typical 60 degrees). It's easier to reject heat into 60 degree ground than into 95 degree air.

    What type of unit is in your house now? If you have a gas or oil furnace and switch to a heat pump then your ductwork needs to be redone.

    The best advice I can give you is DO NOT shop by brand. Shop by installer. If the best installer (through word of mouth) is selling Goodman then buy Goodman. A bad installer can stop a trane or carrier(usually considered the best). Let me know if I need to go into more detail.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

      gear junkie,

      "a bad installer can stop a trane or carrier".If you dont mind,does this mean he can install a system that will breakdown due to poor workmanship.

      Do different units require different instalation procedures that would make an installer prefer one over the other.

      I am sorry,I am a simple plumber,but I would be upset if one of my favorite service plumbers only installed his favorite water heater

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      • #4
        Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

        This is not for my home it is for some homes I am considering building on a sub-division I am doing in Utah. The property will most likely be recreational homes as opposed to year round. I'm trying to figure out the advantage of a closed loop system over an open loop system if there is one.

        What gave me the idea is a home in St. George which is operating on a $25 per month electric bill across a five year period. The home is about the same size as mine but is in an area which gets much hotter and much colder than mine. Assuming the homes were identical my electric bill after 5-years would be $23,500 more than the house on a geo-exchange system. The systems would be a sales tool but also help the environment.

        I am curious about the cost of repairs though. Are you referring to equipment repair or exchange piping repair? I imagine the open system might have more problems with corrosion but the closed loop does not seem like it would be much different than a water cooled system.

        As for Goodman I am not on good terms with them. I was against them in several Construction Defect cases where their heat exchangers were failing. It wasn’t personal but I figured the fire boxes should last more than a couple of years. Goodman eventually was pretty stand up about it but I’m not sure their engineers would be excited to hear from me.

        Mark
        Last edited by ToUtahNow; 03-17-2007, 03:08 AM.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

          For Drty hands:

          HVAC is all about workmanship. A unit is a unit and the fundemental installation techniques are pretty much the same. Trane , Carrier, and Lennox are considered the best but for most techs it's personal preferance.

          An example: A great installer in our area sells Lennox(quality) for a set amount. But tells the customer for only $450 more, he'll sell them a Janitrol(bottom of the barrel). He'll then give a better warranty on the Janitrol. The customer thinks they're making out because for only 450 dollars they think they're getting a better unit. In reality the Janitrol cost him about 900 dollars less so he makes about 1350 profit on each unit. But because he installs so well and takes all things into consideration (duct size, heat loads (how much heat is coming in your house), etc.) that the janitrols still last for 10-15 years and he receives almost no call backs and the customer is happy. He does no advertising and has been in business for 18 years so he must be doing something right.

          A tip; when getting a new unit ask the installer what superheat and subcool are. Superheat-temperature above the condensing point. Subcool-temperature below the condensing point. This is as fundemental to HVAC as 1/4" per foot is to plumbing. If your guy doesn't know that then he's not for you.
          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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          • #6
            Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

            To Utah:
            I'm trying to figure out the advantage of a closed loop system over an open loop system if there is one. Stick with closed loop- open loop; you need on average 1 suction well and 2 return wells(usually). The return wells will be the ones to give you problems. Open loop is also more subject to corrosion. I don't like the whole system because I've heard some bad horror stories on repair costs. Remember that I'm in VA Beach and geo systems are not common here. If they're common in Utah then chances are installers have the system down pat and you'll probably be happy with one.

            I am curious about the cost of repairs though. Are you referring to equipment repair or exchange piping repair? Both-I imagine the open system might have more problems with corrosion but the closed loop does not seem like it would be much different than a water cooled system. You're basically right with a couple exceptions.

            As for Goodman I am not on good terms with them. I hate them too.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

              Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
              To Utah:
              I'm trying to figure out the advantage of a closed loop system over an open loop system if there is one. Stick with closed loop- open loop; you need on average 1 suction well and 2 return wells(usually). The return wells will be the ones to give you problems. Open loop is also more subject to corrosion. I don't like the whole system because I've heard some bad horror stories on repair costs. Remember that I'm in VA Beach and geo systems are not common here. If they're common in Utah then chances are installers have the system down pat and you'll probably be happy with one.

              I am curious about the cost of repairs though. Are you referring to equipment repair or exchange piping repair? Both-I imagine the open system might have more problems with corrosion but the closed loop does not seem like it would be much different than a water cooled system. You're basically right with a couple exceptions.

              As for Goodman I am not on good terms with them. I hate them too.
              Thanks gear-junkie I'm from Southern California and have never seen the systems before but it has peaked my curiosity for this project.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ground Source Heat Pumps

                we don't have a large amount of them here in south east PA . there are a lot of heat pumps with electric back up and some use gas backup.
                Charlie

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