Cost of Geothermal system

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Nice Guy, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Nice Guy

    Nice Guy New Member

    I am looking for a pall park figure for installing a closed loop two zone geothermal system in New Jersey.
    House size: 5000sqf, older house not well insulated.
    Current system: Central HVAC gas system 10 years old. One unit in the basement, one in the attic.
    Water heater: 75 gallon gas heated.
    Lot: 0.5 acers (might be possible to do a horizontal loop?)
  2. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    It is really hard to put a number to this over the internet with so little info.

    Could be $40,000, Could be $80,000.

    Try and find some local installers to give you bids.
  3. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Without a heat loss, rough numbers are as follows.
    For new buildings, we see on average 600 sqf/ton, old buildings we see 300-400 sqf/ton. So in your case about 12 tons for 5000 sqf, may be a bit less in new Jersey, may be a bit more if it is really badly insulated.

    For horizontal 2 stage systems with domestic hot water we range between $5-6K per ton. So 60-70K sounds about right. You might be able too save a lot if you invest into upgrading the insulation.

    Just ball park numbers. You need a heatloss first.
  4. jrh

    jrh Member

    Manual J heat load results will be the driving factor. Insulating and air sealing will be money well spent. We install in North Jersey and would typically see a 5000 sqft home between 50 and 80K. pm me if you would like a quote
  5. chrispitude

    chrispitude New Member

    Hi NiceGuy,

    I'm located in eastern PA (Lehigh Valley) and I can tell you what I've found.

    I'm currently pursuing new construction of a 3200sqft house. I obtained some geothermal bids for 2-zone systems with a conditioned walk-out basement. One contractor told me that normally this would require a 5-ton system, but due to the energy efficiency improvements in the home (1" foam sheathing, wet-blown cellulose in 2x6 exterior walls, triple-pane windows, spray foam under roof deck) that a 4-ton system would be sufficient. The others bid a 4-ton system from the outset. None would perform a manual J calculation until I put money down - these were quotes. To normalize the quotes, I asked all companies to bid on a 4-ton 2-zone system.

    All the quotes came in within the 31k-35k range. The lowest bid came from a smaller local company who was happy to sit down with me and talk technical details about the system, and configure it exactly to my liking (filtration, HRV, zoning details, etc.). The highest bid came from a company that when I went to go talk to them, I entered their big office building and saw four secretaries sitting around talking to each other over coffee. I decided that I didn't feel like paying for secretaries to talk to each other, and I decided to go with the smaller, more personal company. Spec-wise, he was identical to the other bids - insulated metal trunks, VisionPRO 8000 with 2 zones, DSH hookup, comparable well depths and grouting, etc.

    My lot is a 0.75 acre lot. But, due to some setbacks and the funny shape of the lot, ALL contractors told me that I lacked the space for a horizontal loop system. With less land and a larger, leakier house, I expect you will need to go vertical too.

    If you are near the Easton PA area at all, PM me and I'll put you in touch with my contractor. I think you would find him very reasonable to work with, if you're in his service area.

    - Chris
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  6. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Jearsey is an awfully big state, The cost to drill varies wildly based on specific location in the garden. Also being old house experianced, the best investment you could ever make is tightening up your houses envelope. If you need a list of reputable installers in the garden, call Gary Brill at Millpond Mechanical.
  7. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

  8. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Roger that!

    I think you could heat a 5000 SF TENT in NJ with 12 tons...
  9. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I think the quotes

    are low, but then I do lots of radiant with my geo jobs because of the 30% energy savings with that type of delivery system.
  10. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

  11. cschmelz

    cschmelz New Member

  12. Nice Guy

    Nice Guy New Member

    Break down the cost

    Could someone break down the cost of the geothermal system? I have a hard time understanding and/or accepting a range of $30-70k, especially when I don't know the details.

    Where is how I figured the cost of a 5 ton system should be:
    Drilling (5 holes of 300ft at $10/ft) $15,000
    Water Furnace, 2 zones + water heater $20,000
    Installation/Other $ 5,000
    Total $40,000
  13. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    If the geo system includes

    all the sheet metal work in Ohio your number would be low. There is a lot more labor involed than $5,000.00 around here.
  14. Nice Guy

    Nice Guy New Member

    The estimate is based on replacing an existing newer HVAC system with Geothermal, so there shouldn't be a need for any duck work.

    Unless, we converted our two zone to one zone to save on the cost for a water furnace and installation. I am sure it would be cheaper even though the saving would be offset slightly be the added cost for connecting the ducks system.
  15. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    This sounds about right for a 5-6 ton system. However, this thread started with "5000 sqf with poor insulation". So if this an old leaky house, it might not be 5 tons but 10 tons. That is why the range of estimates is there. Is it a rambler, or are the 5000 sqf including basement and 3 floors? Those stacked up houses loose in general less heat than a spread out house on one floor.

    Without more specific information, the range covering all the unknown was about 30-70K.

    And we pay between 15-20$/ft of drilling here in Western New York. That does not mean the pipes are in the house, and they are not purged and filled with antifreeze.
    And we have about $5K for installation material in each job: Flowcenter, circulation pumps, shutoff valves, PE and Copper piping, checkvalves, expansion tanks, vents, all kinds of fittings, P/T ports, thermostats.

    You'll be surprised how quickly things add up!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  16. Nice Guy

    Nice Guy New Member

    The house is 3 floors, each about 1,500+ sfq. There is a basement, but we currently dont heat or cool it since it just used for storage.

    The house is about 100 old, thus the comment about poor insulation. I have done my fair share of improving the draft on door and windows and we do have storm windown on the old windows.

    I have heard the rule of thumb is $3,000 per Ton/1,000 Sqf for the furnace, so the $20,000 in my estimate is even a little high or enough to install 6-7 tons.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  17. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The figure of $10.00 per foot may also be low depending on your location. Hard rock and air rotary will drive that number up as well.
  18. Nice Guy

    Nice Guy New Member

    It defiantly seem that doing a horizontal loop is the best way to keep the cost low. How many feet of trench is on average needed per ton?
  19. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I feel your need.. try this.

    I like your zoning idea as it will save you the cost of the second machine. I like Arzel Zoning Technologies, (They will google). You are correct the cost of a connecting duct system and zoninf equipment will be way less than a second machine.

    Can you find someone close by in "Find a Pro"?

    This is not like trying to find me on the internet, as I do show up, unfortunatly, you need a skilled head either attached to skilled hands or able to get them to get any real numbers. So my last post still stands your listed GUESS wil be low.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  20. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Be a nice guy and get a heatloss done, that diminishes a lot of guesswork here.
    Yes, horizontal is much more reasonable compared to drilling. The trench length depends on your soil conductivity. We use 150 ft of borehole (0.75" pipe), or 100 feet of trench/ton when using 800ft slinkies. But we have great soil here.

    For the average new built with great insulation we end up at about 600-800 sqf/ton, so you are way off there.

    The price per ton goes down significantly for larger system, and jumps again when you have to go to multi-pump systems. A 2 ton HP can be $7K, whereas a 6 ton can be $10K.

    You need some professional help, some of your assumptions are off.

Share This Page