Virginia full retro install cost seems high?

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by wildwolf, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    I have more info on current setup than the actual quote contains. Talks are on hold during virus. My choice - I'm high risk.

    House was built in 1998. 2300 sq. ft. upstairs, about the same finished in basement as well. Currently on propane heat via 500 gallon tank (owned) and we've spent just over $3,000 since 11/10/2019 @ $2.12/gallon delivered. I know there are some insulation/envelope issues. Those have been contracted & $ put down to address when this virus crap is over. I'm getting attic fully cleaned out, can lights covered, some gaps closed up, and everything closed cell sealed, plus R-60 cellulose sprayed everywhere in attic. Plus, they're removing the ceiling tiles along basement perimeter and closed cell spray sealing the floor/ceiling joists/perimeter in basement as well.

    I was hoping for a $30K quote for geothermal to replace 2 old systems. Basement furnace is a 92% efficiency propane furnace, with 2 ton AC outside (both systems manufactured in 1998). Main floor heated by attic 80% propane furnace, 3.5 ton AC unit outside (both systems manufactured in 2008). The AC unit has a small leak around one line outside per geothermal quote guy as it's "wet" looking and he said should be dry (other unit was dry).

    I have a great area for a couple vertical wells and it is just off the outside basement entrance to house - so getting the lines into house will be easier. Here is the "rough" estimate, more detailed provided should I wish to move forward and before I move forward (looking for rough draft first).

    Basement GEO System:

    1 Two Ton, Two stage Water Furnace Model #LDV024-104L0AA Package Heat Pump with 5kw back up heater kit (Water Furnace Warranty: 5 year parts, 5 year labor).
    1 Healthy Climate Model #HCC20-28 MERV 11 20x25x5 (was quoted initially a MERV 16, so this info is incorrect)
    1 Air Scrubber X153639N Air Purifier
    1 WiFi Water Furnace Thermostat

    Main Floor System:

    1 Four Ton, Two Stage Water Furnace Split GEO Heat Pump System
    1 Four Ton Fan, Coil, Air Handler Installed in Attic with 15kw Back Ip Heater Kit Model #SAH048151 Unit (Water Furnace Warranty: 10 year parts, 5 year labor).
    1 Healthy Climate Model #HCC20-28 MERV 11 20x25x5 (was quoted initially a MERV 16, so this info is incorrect)
    1 Air Scrubber X153639N Air Purifier
    1 WiFi Water Furnace Thermostat
    • Main trunk line will be fabricated from 26 gauge metal wrapped in 3’ R-8 duct wrap
    • We will do low voltage control wiring BUT NO power wiring in this bid
    • Copper refrigerant lines with insultube on the suction line
    • PVC drain from the indoor unit to take care of condensation
    • Drain Pan with emergency float switch
    • Wood platforms in Attic for unit and walking area
    I was also told they would install a "pre heat tank" to feed into our propane tankless water heater and add a 'loop back' to the farthest point to provide always ready hot water nearly everywhere in the house. This is a bonus to us, as right now, it literally takes about 100-120 seconds to get a hot shower at either main floor bathrooms or hot water at the kitchen sink (opposite side of house). Water heater currently in basement/middle of house, closest to kitchen.

    Total estimate is:
    $58,500 with 25 months financing at 0%, or
    $62,884 with 60 months financing at 0% (essentially, they front load 7.5%)

    It's my understanding, the tax credit doesn't apply to all the work. :(

    I was also told I'd need to replace wiring, currently 200A service would need upgraded to 400A service, and that would cost about another $4400. Does tax credit apply for this as well?

    This seems REAL steep to me. Company has some good ratings on google/elsewhere. They also came in considerably cheaper for instead installing 2 new Carrier heat pump full installations with propane as backup source than the competition I had provide quote as well. Other company wanted $36K for 2 Carrier Infinity 18 systems where as the geothermal company quoted $24-26K for the same 2 systems.

    Both companies were high rated/reviewed on Google/other sites at 4.7-5.0 ratings (80-160 ratings each available).

    I don't know why I was hoping this order would have come in at $30K. If it had, I would have already signed the contract. at $59-63K, it's considerably MORE to consider. I don't have $59K and am not quote comfortable with $2360/mo at 25 months, so it'd need to be $63K @ $1050/mo for 60 months.

    I didn't see the geothermal company name in any searches, so not sure if they've been discussed here or if naming companies is just frowned upon, so won't name them unless that's permitted. Would love to find out they are top-notch from those here that are "in the know."
  2. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    It doesn't seem that out of line to me, especially if this is a well known, respected contractor. Single units systems are in the $30k range but you have two systems. You probably have $15k to $20k in WF heat pump equipment, with 6 tons of unit you probably need like 1000ft of vertical well drilling which I would guestimate at ~$25k, they have to do trenching to bring pipes into house maybe $5k (is fixing landscape included? probably another $5k), and then they still have to install all of this in your house and commission it ($10k). Not sure if there is even profit left for the company installing. If your house is all electric, then the 200A to 400A conversion is likely needed to meet NEC requirements. NEC has a calculation method (that is very conservative) but its the building code. If you were to ever have both heat pumps with elect backup on, an oven, range, well pump, etc. then you could get close or maybe just over 200A. Would you ever actually run the house this way - probably not but good luck getting building department to sign off on adding like 150A (both heat pumps+20kW in elec heat) to an existing 200A system.

    I did all of this in the past year - 3300 sq ft with two zone system switched from propane furnaces and a/c over to all geo system. WF7 series for both zones, 1200ft of vert well, desuperheaters with heat pump hot water heater and buffer tank. My WF equipment was probably 2x cost of yours. Its a hell of a nut. But, my propane bill was $7k for 2018-2019 winter. My geo elec bill was $450 total for winter 2019-2020 - its almost a roundoff error to the propane bills. I was also helped by the fact that my propane and a/c equipment was 30 years old and needed to be replaced, so I was buying something regardless. I had the benefit of a 30% credit in 2019 but 26% isn't all that much different. I am totally and completed satisfied, I probably break even around 7 to 8 years and then its all gravy, but it isn't for everyone.

    Water source heat pumps are more expensive than air source equipment which is more expensive than traditional furnaces and a/c. But the big ticket item though for a full upgrades is the outdoor trenching/drilling work. Lots of people use multiple shallow loops in trenches if you have enough yard to do this. Rock is 4' below grade at my house so this was a non-starter. But I bet you could potentially save $10k to 15k doing that (although the yard will be a mess).
  3. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    Thank you! That is about the best reply I could have expected. Similar situation, etc. I forget why the company recommended for me the Series 3 and Series 5, and not any of them Series 7, but I do recall they seemed like logical reasons. I guess when this (virus) is all settled, and the wife & I have people back in the house, we'll be pressing forward.
  4. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    sometimes they recommend equipment they know and install all the time. I suspect they were trying to get the cost down too as most end users shop on cost. Cost is not a good metric for a good outcome in geo - just search the forum and you will read about horror stories where corners are cut to get cost down. 3 and 5 series are dual stage, 7 series has 12 stages (not quite infinitely variable output but pretty close). 3 and 5 series are dual stage equipment that are far better than single stage equipment that will cycle on/off all the time. 2 stage still does this to some extent. 7 series is pretty much always on running in the first several stages.

    Hopefully someone else chimes in on cost. I'm guessing somewhat but they are probably good estimates (+/-$5k). they are certainly correct order of magnitude wise.
  5. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    Thanks. Now I have to wonder if your massive savings is due to series 7 vs the 3 or 5 I'd be getting. However, I do recall looking up the efficiencies of the 3 & 5 unis and they both seem to be very efficient systems, even if only 2 stage units. The heat pumps I was looking at comparing with were 5 state systems. I like the idea of geothermal. Installer salesman has had his geothermal system for 30 years now, been with his company for 40+ years. I have enough space for horizontal installation if I want to try on that side of the house, but vertical will definitely be easier. It's also more likely to have some water there as its next to a run off/wetter area of the yard after storms for a day or two. He stated that would make the system even more efficient, and I tend to agree with that analysis. $450 heating for winter would be wonderful. I have fears mine would be near as yours if this were a cold winter. This winter was relatively mild. May 5-8 days in the teens. Most days above 30, so maybe 20 more days in the 20s. How does the summer cooling (cost) compare? This is our 1st year in the house, so haven't had summertime AC costs to see yet. Windows need replaced, they are not currently low-e windows, so sunlight heats it up greatly - good in winter, not so good in summer.

    With the bad insulation we have, the main floor unit runs furnace frequently, which costs electric. I am not expecting much increase in electricity once the systems are installed. After we get it all installed, and mostly paid off, we have a great yard for some solar panels as well. I just can't get myself to install them on the new roof (just replaced May last year, per sellers). Will get geothermal installation done, and when it's complete, the Dr. Energy company will come in and clean out/seal everything up, and I very much hope our heating/cooling cost extremes are a thing of the past, plus we get benefit of "free" hot water, and a better air filter/purification system than the current systems have now.
  6. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    if you search the forum, there is a user "docjenser" who professionally installs these systems in upstate NY near Buffalo. He reported doing some studies between two stage equipment and 7 series equipment in the same house (they were replacements) going back maybe 5 years. I don't remember the exact savings but it wasn't insignificant-something like the 7 series saves 40% over the 5 series. That being said, a two stage geo will get you a significant efficiency over a traditional furnace; a 7 series is icing on the cake. Waterfurance installers should have a program from water furnace at their disposal to provide studies for this. Alternatively, you could try to pick out a system/house that is similar to yours on 'welserver' (lookup website) to get a glimpse into how a system might perform/elec use in your region.

    Guessing here but there is probably a $4k premium for the 7 series over the 5 series, and maybe another $4k premium for the 5 over the 3. I don't believe there are any split systems with the 7 series though and I think your first post indicated one of your systems is split (there are 5 series in split). I can't tell you what the difference is between the 3 or 5 (they both seem to be dual stage with ecm fan) so its not clear to me that one will save more energy over the other.

    If you do horizontal trenching for the loops, then yes, wet ground is far more preferable to dry ground. I haven't had my system installed for a summer yet so I can't comment on the a/c usage but I would expect minimal cost a/c - cost to run ecm fan and loop pumps (mine are variable speed grundfos) which is probably on the order of 50 to 100W+minimal compressor usage (maybe 300W sporadically?). Think of it like leaving some light bulbs on around the house. Ground is colder than the air so the refrigerant cycle does little work to move heat from a high temperature source (your house's air) to a low temperature source (ground) in a/c mode. Its winter time heating that uses the compressor/refrigeration cycle extensively to extract heat from a lower temp source (ground) and move it to a higher temp repository (your house's air). So winter is when the electricity usage goes way up. For me, I doubled my electric usage from pre-geo (30 year old 65% eff propane furnaces with single speed psc fans) to post geo during the winter without any change to the building's envelope.

    I should point out though that since you are in Virginia, its entirely possible that an air source heat pump may be more cost effective depending on your winter time temps. It really depends on how cold it gets and for how long as 40 degrees (maybe 30 for supposed cold temp air source equipment) seems to be the limit where air source heat pump equipment really begins to suck. There is no one right solution for everyone (other than eliminating propane :)). Elec based systems seem to be the future to eliminating combustion and tie it to solar. Solar field in the yard (also not on the roof) is what is next on my list too.
    wildwolf likes this.
  7. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Let me know what specific questions I might be able to answer.

    it seems like that you currently;y have a 50,000 BTU/H heating load, given your consumption, before you dress your envelope weakness.

    Certainly I am a fan of the variable speed technology, due to its added comfort and efficiency.

    Why would you not use a single 5-ton 7 series, get a duct to the basement from upstairs, and zone the upstairs/downstairs. Not sure why you would need 400A service?

    10 KW emergency heat should be sufficient for the house.
  8. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    Bear with me, as I don't know my terminology. I was told the 7 series doesn't come in a split format. I have 2 living spaces: "mainfloor" (or upstairs), and basement. The mainfloor unit would be housed in the where duct work currently is for heatpump/AC for same floor. They would run the water lines from well to the basement, with the 3 series to heat/cool basement. Then the split system for mainfloor, with part of it in basement, and the other part in the attack.

    I think I'm currently using most of the 200A service. It's currently feeding a 100A sub-panel to a detached garage, and a couple of other items. They should have wired house originally with 400A service. Given what it has and timeline built (1998), that's about the only thing they skimped on, IMHO. I think the installer said since both systems are now propane, switching them to both electric emergency would be too much load, thus the need for 400A service?

    And, talked to the installer again, they have decided to forego the charge for 400A service upgrade. Installer said his company & Water Furnace would cover that expense together. I guess with the virus, they're looking for additional work/customers? If things calm down over this virus, we'll be able to start in a couple months (I am budgeting something else at the moment). If things don't calm down, we'll have to decide if we want the workers in/around the house several hours a day putting us potentially at risk of infection.

    I don't know how the emergency heat works with the geothermal - does it still kick in when temps are below certain values like with a heat pump? That seems counter-productive. I also don't know what emergency backups I ever had at the previous place (natural gas in basement & 1st floor, electric heatpump 2nd floor with emergency backup), but electric usage was 'normal' and natural gas costs were ~$720/year max.
  9. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    7 doesn't come in split. He is suggesting to forget the split, use one heat pump to heat/cool whole house and run new ductwork from basement to whatever rooms used to be heated and cooled by split unit in attic. Fine on paper and certainly would consolidate equipment but not always doable in reality if lots of finishes have to get destroyed or there simply is no room for new ductwork or unit in basement. Waterfurnace has a zoning system that by all accounts works well and could potentially give you a similar heating/cooling distribution of multiple units on separate thermostats. I have no experience with it so can't comment. But I have lived in a house with one unit trying to heat/cool the whole house and a separate house that has two units (one for first floor and one for second floor). I'll take the two unit house 7 days a week.

    Geo should be sized so that it can heat and cool the entire house using the heat pump with at least a 2 stage unit. If you have elec heat strips installed they should be for emergency use only (should the compressor or some other element fail). Sizing to use the heat strips with the geo unit in normal operation doesn't make much economical sense other than if you were trying to lower the upfront cost of heat pump and drilling work. But its shortsighted in my opinion. either pay now once or pay high elec bills forever. You probably never had emergency backup heat if you had a gas furnace but they are simpler machines than a geo system. strip heating is cheap to include - its the electric connection that tends to be more expensive because you need big circuits, your panel needs room, and your service entry has to have enough capacity. the 10kW electrip strip heat mentioned above requires 42A all by itself (21% of 200A service).

    Virginia is on the 2014 NEC. if you wanted to do the electrical load calculation per NEC there is a free spreadsheet that can be downloaded from mikeholt dot com (admins don't allow links till after they have reviewed the message and made sure its not spam and it takes forever. pm me if you want the direct link). But generally speaking, if you have a relatively large (3000sf or greater) all electric house in area with well water (well pump, oven, range, hot water heater, dryer, air conditioning) you are probably very close to 200A in the load calc already. If you add 2 geo units with backup electric heat with all of that other all electric stuff already present, I can guarantee you will be over 200A in the load calc. Throw in a pool or hot tub and forget it, 200A will never work for that situation. That being said, the load calc would probably never get close to 400A but it really doesn't matter because most power companies have services for residential that are graduated such that there is no 250A or 270A or 300A service. Its 200A and then 400A. I should also point out that it really isn't 400A service - its 320A continuous with 400A instantaneous. 200A is actually the same way - its really 160A continuous and 200A instantaneous. For some reason the naming "200A" and "400A" stuck for what is really 160C/200I and 320C/400I. Commercial service is much different and you can have a 400A continous there but they don't have meters they have CTs measuring what you pull.

    Would your actual use ever match the NEC load calc? I would bet money it won't even come close and you may find that if you measured draw using a CT on your incoming service it probably would get to at most near 200A (think party in your house, cooking, doing laundry, pool pump going, well pump, hottest/coldest part of year, etc.). But try telling a building department electrical sub code official and inspector that that NEC doesn't apply to your situation. I can tell you how that turns out. Sounds like it is a moot point if they are going to give it to you for "free"
  10. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Waterfurnace has introduced a 7 series split, but it has not launched on the market yet.
    The strategy has changed for sizing over the years. When we only had single stage units, it used to be that it was recommended to size it for cooling, and supplement the rest to match the heating needs with supplement electric heat.
    That has changed with dual stage units, which were sized to cover 95%+ of the load, and now the variable speed (capacity) have changed things again, especially in the new world of electrification to replace fossil fuels, the last thing we want is all the heating systems going all into electric resistance heat at the same hour on the coldest night of the year.
    Supplement heat is turned on by the thermostat, when the unit cannot turn on, it turns on the electric heat in addition.
    Yes, I would simply put in a single 5 ton variable speed unit, and run some ductwork trunk to the attic, and zone it with the basement. Alternatively, you could have a 4 ton unit put in the attic, and only run the water supply and return pipe to the attic. Now, take all this with a grain of salt, I do not know your house.
    In terms of the electrical service, you already have 5.5 tons of A/C units outside, which you are replacing with 6 tons of geo, which will use less power than the the conventional A/C during summer peak time.
    Yes you are adding likely 10KW supplement heat at least for the 4 ton (or 5 ton if you are going with a single unit), but we always put the emergency supplement heat on a senate breaker, so they can be disabled for normal use, not coming on unless the unit is not running. Again, variable speed units have changed the design solutions, and issues of having not enough power can be mitigated. Keep in mind that other things help too, like LED lights and more efficient appliances.

    I have a 5,200 sqf house, 3 electric cars...and of course a geo system. Totally fine and doable with 200 A service.
  11. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    Thanks, everybody for your insight and suggestions these past few months. Due to house design, schedule(s) of several (other things not related to geo systems) things, ease of installation, and a plethora of other things, I am going with the recommended original installation which is a 5 series 4-ton split system in attic with water lines ran to basement, and a separate 3 series 2-ton non-split system in basement.

    The attic feeds main floor only (ceiling vents). The basement feeds basement only (wall vents).

    We had all windows/doors replaced a few weeks ago, though there are pending issues with the windows. They were supposed to have had a SHGC rating of 0.24, but instead have a rating of 0.28, so a whole lot more heat gets through in the summer which really heats up 2 rooms if the blinds/curtains are open (which we had hoped to be able to leave open). In fact, using a remote thermometer hand-held scanner tool, I measured a patch on the carpet the day before and the days of/after installation in both the shaded & sunlit areas on the floor. There was no difference between the measurements: shaded was about 72F and sunlit was about 85F. This leads me to believe that replacing the windows has zero effect on permitting less heat from sun coming through the glass. The only savings I can hope would be less wind/air leakage around each of the windows for those that were leaking. Since we replaced about 38 windows, that could be significant - or maybe not as much as I had expected.

    The geothermal company starts today. They will be pulling out the old furnace and setting up for the 5 & 3 series in basement. Next week, the wells get dug (permit approved last week). They are going with 3 wells. 2 for the 5-series 4-ton split, and 1 well for the basement unit. They will also tie the wells into the systems next week as well as replace the attic system, set up the desuperheater/do the plumbing work, and finish everything else next week as well. By the end of 11/7, the full geothermal system should be installed & operational. They are doing a few other minor (to them, major for me) things as well. There was a water line ran to the attic system. At least, it looks like that is a full blown water line and not a bad drain installation line. The house also has the 2 propane furnace lines, plus 3 propane fireplace lines, 2 of which are vent-less propane fireplaces (how stupid was that?). They are disconnecting the 3 fireplace lines and capping them off for me. In a year or 2, when I have more funds available, I will be getting the 3 fireplaces demolished. Also, the same genius that put in the 2 fake, vent-less fireplaces also (@*#%# up the roof in that area of the house and built a chimney. It has absolutely NOTHING connected to it. You can go into the attic, and see the opening to the fake chimney. So, I will eventually get that demoed as well as the "working" one they stuck to the side of the house (also destroying part of the roof to make it fit...again, morons). But, I digress. :)

    The final phase will be the 1st and 2nd weeks of December. The first week, a company is removing all of the insulation from the attic. They are giving me 3 days to have some network lines ran from office to outside/eaves to mount some security cameras, and then the following week, they are sealing up everything with spray foam and re-applying blown cellulose insulation everywhere in the attic. They are also spray foam sealing all the basement eaves/overhang areas to seal up those air leaking areas. There are a few 'areas' in the attic they need to build up/fix up first, before the envelope is applied. However, come mid-December, everything about this house's envelope will be fixed and I will be nearly 100% off propane heat with 2 new geothermal systems. We put in a tankless propane water heater soon after moving in. I don't know if we'll keep it, or replace it. I will let the geothermal folks decide if it's better to remove/replace with a different style entirely, as I don't really care at this point and do not really trust the company that installed it's work, unfortunately. Yes, that would be a waste of $ to have had it put in if it gets removed, but the guy that installed it was SO stupid, I'm surprised the water heater works and I have to question its integrity now due to the installer. Also, we do plan (next spring maybe) to replace an electric cook top with a propane one. Otherwise, we could have had the propane tank excavated & removed as well.

    We have 1 more month of electric to have a year's worth of electric usage. Based on this past month's usage, we will use about $200-220 in electric. It hit pretty high with the ACs running in the summer, with the highest being about $488. At our last house w/o any heating/cooling/envelope issues, we averaged $190-210/month electric usage. I expect our average bill here to be the same and when we don't run AC, it is, so I expect about $2400/yr electric usage. Estimating next month at $220, we will be using $3300 in electric. For propane, we used a total of $3500 last year (very mild winter).

    I do not know how much the electric will go up (if any?) over our $200/mo average by putting in the geothermal systems. Even if I only save the propane usage, for me, this will be a win. Eventually, I plan to do a solar panel installation to offset the cost of the $200/mo electric usage, so essentially, I hope to achieve an electrical/heating/cooling net zero house, or close to it.
  12. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    don't know what happened but somehow my original reply disappeared. anyway, the condensed version:

    air sealing is key - possibly more important than insulating because like everything, there are diminishing returns. Most houses have some insulation so doulbling it probably doesn't cut costs in half. Air sealing (prior to spray foam) was basically ignored so doing some air sealing (focused on the attic and areas at ground level) will reap benefits.

    Your description of the ground loop reads like there will be two separate ground loops. i would make one ground loop with three wells and have each system tie into it. That way the ground loop is oversized relative to each system for the vast majority of the year as it will be rare to have both systems running at full speed at the same time (only for say the design day/week of the year does this happen).

    Had my propane tank removed last week and it is sitting ont he driveway awaiting Suburban to come pick it up. I inherited the tank rental from Suburban from the prior house owner. They ONLY way I would consider doing any propane ever again would be if I owned the tank. Otherwise, they have their hand in your pocket night and day with fees, fees, and more fees, fillups when you don't need it, price gouging, and absurd fees to get rid of the system too. I would sooner choose to install and oil tank than go propane again and I will never install oil.

    Solar panels are planned for next year for me. My wife had pool dreams this summer which ate into my solar panel plan.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
    PAhome likes this.
  13. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    I did see your reply, but didn't have a chance to reply to it yet. Not sure what happened to it either.

    Okay, talked to the installers again. It will be 1 ground loop system, 3 wells all tied together, feeding a 2 ton 3 series non-split unit for basement, and a 4 ton split 5 series unit for main floor with water lines being run to the attic to feed the other split part. Existing vents were already in attic from previous propane furnace. Windows/doors were all recently replaced with better sealed windows and doors to stop air leaks. The basement eaves (wooden joists over the cinder blocks) will be spray foam sealed, plus other entry/exit points along outside, plus the insulation in attic will be removed, the attic floor will be sealed (we have 32 can lights that are being sealed as well, along with other countless holes, etc.). So, hopefully, air sealing will be done and done right.

    I own the tank, came with house thanks to previous home owner. We don't like the electric cook top and will probably have a propane cook top in to replace it next spring. Not sure I mentioned, and not really related, but I think I'd like to have a line ran to back yard to an outdoor patio area as source for outdoor fireplace and maybe a more permanent grill. Sure, I could use the small cylinder tanks, but this would eliminate having to get those replaced or filled, too.

    As far as the wells, they've drilled 2 of them so far, last one should be tomorrow. They will all 3 be about 330 feet deep, so about 990 feet, give or take, total, for a total of 6 ton system. 1st well (yesterday) hit water about 100-120 feet down. Today's well hit water about 80 feet down - and a lot of it. From my understanding, that is good, right? Last well will be drilled tomorrow and they will be grouting Thursday, ditching up to house and starting tie-in on Friday and hopefully finishing that Monday and/or Tuesday. Wednesday & Thursday next week, they will be finishing the install, with Friday as a fall over day should anything not go to plan.

    That's going to be a HUGE mess in the yard for a while. :eek:
  14. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    Suburban picked up the tank today - Good riddance. I have never tried it, but apparently induction heating (using electric) beats the pants off of either electric or gas ranges. It will be our next range. not sure if ovens can use the same technology.

    One thing you should keep in mind, that as you tighten up the building envelope via air sealing, your house will no longer "breathe" via all the airways you just clogged up. So you now need to purposefully vent out things like shower and human breath humidity, any combustion byproducts, and any other air pollution that would eventually make its way out of the house via all the air passages that you just sealed up. This is most efficiently done via a mechanical method using an HRV (or ERV in the south) pulling in fresh air and conditioning it via the temperature of the air leaving the house. Otherwise, the interior gets stale quickly and will get quite humid. People are routinely shocked to find out that now that they just closed up the house, they have to open it back up. Key is to open it in a fixed way to meter how much air comes in and out and temper it with the outgoing air so all the money spent to heat and cool the outgoing air isn't lost.

    My three wells were 400ft each and all dry. Having water in them is a good indication that the groundwater will likely carry heat away/toward your wells which is more efficient than just rock/dirt doing it via conduction. My wells were done in Aug 2019 followed by trenching in Sept 2019 (don't get me started on the schedule/timeframe) and the front yard was a mud pit until March 2020. Slow would be the best word to describe my contractor so it certainly may be a mess for a while but hopefully not that long. They do have cold season grasses that will grow over winter.
  15. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    I will have to look at induction.

    Also, I wanted to ask another question. Once we get a few projects paid for, we will look into an inside remodel. One of the things we might do is remodel 2 main floor areas (kitchen/dining/den, and master, 2nd, 3rd bedrooms), as well as a few things in the basement. My wife has said for years she'd like heated floors. I am confident we have enough space to do that in the basement (drop ceiling is about 8-9' high?), but are things like that done on main floors also? I know, wrong community, so the geothermal question. Since I'm getting a 5-series split, and a 3-series non-split, I think they indicated the 3-series split will be connected to the desuperheater (water heater?), can we get a contractor to add closed loop to the floor & connect to one of the waterfurances to heat the basement floor also via 1 of the geothermal systems? Or would we need to drill a 4th well to handle that?
  16. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    You can't use the desuperheater for infloor heat, just not enough output.

    A water to water heat pump is what you would need.
  17. wildwolf

    wildwolf New Member

    I wasn't expecting to use the desuperheater to heat the floor, I was really trying to ask, do I need another well to do so, or something else, or will the 5-series & 3-series I have be enough?

    Are you saying I would need another WaterFurnace heat pump just for the floors?
  18. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    as others have stated, desuperheater can only be used for domestic hot water and as a backup to your regular hot water heating source (tank, tankless, gas, electric, etc.) Desuperheater output isn't consistently available and can't be regulated by a thermostat so you can't call for heat when you want it (the requirement for any true heating system).

    Based on all the other discussions, you are having water to air heat pumps installed - ie they get heat from a ground loop using water and transfer that heat to air which is ducted around your home. I'm only aware of two ways to do heated floors - with water tubing or with electric heating wires in a mat. There may be others but its probably some iteration on these. Your water-to-air heat pumps aren't going to be used to heat floors. If you used a water setup to heat the floors, you would need a water-to-water heat pump as ChrisJ noted (in addition to your two water-to-air units). Presumably, it could use the same ground loop as the ground loop should be sized for the heat needs of the home and not necessarily how the heat is distributed inside the home. But this would mean that you would have a massively oversized heating system (if both water-to-air and water-to-water heat pumps run at the same time) so none of them would probably run very long unless you turned off the water-to-air heat pump and turned on the water-to-water heat pump (switch from ducted heated air to heated floors). But that presents a problem in that you couldn't just have the floor heating in one area, it would have to be the whole zone that the water-to-air heat pump operates in so your could switch one off and turn one on. It doesn't strike me as a terribly good way to spend money having very expensive equipment sit idle but to each their own. If it were me, I would just do the electric mat heating in the small areas that I wanted it. If you are talking the whole first floor to have infloor heating, then I think you needed to consider this back when you were getting quotes. Its real late if not past the point of return given the dates you laid out in post #11.
    ChrisJ likes this.
  19. SShaw

    SShaw Active Member Forum Leader

    If you want both forced air and floor heating, look at the Waterfurnace Synergy3D.

    "3 in 1 convenience -- Radiant hydronic heat is widely regarded as the most comfortable way of heating the home while forced air is typically the most cost-effective. The Synergy3D combines the best of both worlds, providing the luxurious comfort of radiant heat while providing traditional forced air heating as well — all from a single unit."
    gsmith22 likes this.
  20. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    synergy3D is actually a really good solution to the problem. I didn't know that existed and just did some reading. You can either heat air, heat water, or cool air but only do one of those at any one time. So you could build your system as is now (all air based), later on switch to floor heating using water (and keep air conditioning via air) and have it all controlled by one unit. You would have to replace your current unit with the synergy3D so that it can do the water heating at a later point or have that installed now but it sounds like that ship may have sailed if the equipment is already being installed. It doesn't seem like it could do both air heating and water heating at the same time though so the entire zone that it heats would have to be all air heating or all water heated via floor.

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