Geothermal in WNY the best investment I ever made in my home

Discussion in 'Geothermal Heat Pump Testimonials' started by johnny1720, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

    Here is my story,

    2500 square foot farm house located in Allegany, NY, built in 1860 with all new energy star windows and doors. About 60% of the house has been gutted, sealed and insulated with either R15 or R21. The house is plank so I have to stud up the walls with 2x4's or 2x6's to install insulation. The attic has about R90 and the rim joists in the basement are filled with R21.

    I had a few people quote my house for a geothermal install. One guy came out in 2011 and he suggested I get a 5 ton system and he did no measurements. He took my spreadsheet for my fuel/propane and electric usage and calculated the size of the unit. About that time I started reading on this site on a regular basis. I also studied some of the WEL servers online and from that I was able to make a bunch of decisions as well. Last year when I called to get a fill up of fuel oil they quoted me over $1,000 for 250 gallons. At that point I decided it was time to make the leap. I contacted a local installer from Salamanca, NY (Jim Snyder, Domestic Energy Services) he worked with me and the trench installer. He had an energy audit performed on my home. He did a few minor changes and selected a 4 ton unit with all new duct work. I liked that he didn't give me any of the BS that the others installers did and he is 20 minutes away, and he actually used to build heat pumps and air conditioners for a very large manufacturer.

    They put in a horizontal loop of 2250 feet an average of 9 feet deep. They commissioned the system on 2/17/2012 so I have had it for just over a year and the savings is crazy. I have lived in this home for exactly 6 years. For comparison I averaged the total utility bills, electric, fuel oil, propane and pellets for the first 5 years. Then I compared that to the total utility bills for the last 12 months. The average for the first 5 years was about $5100 per year, the total utility bills for the last 12 months is $2500 of that about $800 is for heating. (And that includes the pellets for the stove in my man cave).

    So that is my story in a nutshell, this system works really well the installer comes once a year to inspect the unit and replace the air filter. The temp is set at 70 or 71 and the system just runs. The installer was great to work with and I would suggest him to anyone who might be thinking about doing a geothermal heating system. The geothermal heating was the best investment I have ever made.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  2. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    thanks for posting
  3. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Thanks for keeping us posted.

  4. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I know Jim and was with him on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The only thing that I might mention above is that you put in 2250 of horizontal trench, you said vertical loop which may confuse some that are not as much as a "geo-junkie" as others on the site..
  5. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

    I fixed it, i did mean to say horizontal
  6. ssmith

    ssmith Member

    Nice! So your 5 year average was mainly before oil settled down (up) to it's present price of more than $4 /gal. So you're saving even more than $2500/year going geo. I'm guessing your system will pay itself back in less than 7 years (as mine will also), not to mention how nice it is to have the house always at a constant temp. This year has had a good winter to test your system. It's nice to hear the stories when things are done right rather than the nightmares when things are done wrong.
  7. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    If doing a easy comparison YOY, We actually have only had 132 heating degree days more than last year until Feb 1, which is less than 7%, so I am still waiting for some real winters to return...
  8. ssmith

    ssmith Member

    Yea, it seems like it's been a cold year, but I think it may be just my dislike of winter is growing with each year I age. Seemed like we had more nights down around 0 this year...a nice test of low temp performance of our sytem, at least. In reality, we've only had 9 nights lower than 6 degrees above, in the Ithaca area (though it's usually a little colder where I live at higher elevation), compared to 6 nights all of last heating season. This doesn't come close to the 23 nights we had in the 2010-2011 season. That season, if I remember right wasn't unusually cold (though it seemed to go on forever), but came close to the average for HDD's.

    FWIW, my dislike of winter has been tempered a lot by the addition of our geo system.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  9. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

    Yes I do agree that it actually has been a mild winter. For my comparison I feel I am pretty close, when I first moved in we were only heating the rooms we lived in. Now the house is full of babies so we have to heat the entire house. I have been looking forward to the NYSERDA heating day degree report. The only problem is my numbers don't jive with Buffalo, they are closer to the Binghamton numbers, and even those #'s are little higher. And my "easy comparison" did not include the raw cost of fuel oil, when others were paying $4.00 I was still below $3.00 back in 2008-2010. So now that fuel oil is $4.02 according to NYSERDA my ROI will be a bit quicker.
  10. HHarpel

    HHarpel New Member

    what brand system did you install?
  11. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

    He installed a ClimateMaster 4 ton with a desuper heater.
  12. Darryl Mayeaux

    Darryl Mayeaux New Member

    johnny1720, thanks for the description! How did your system do in the winter of '13/'14?

    I also live in Allegany, NY. Am very close to agreeing to do geothermal. Were you able to get the NYS tax rebate of 25% (up to $5K)?

  13. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member


    The winter of 13-14 was cold, but not in my house. My total electric bill including my heat and domestic usage was about $2500 for the past year. Even though the darn price of electric went sky high in March.

    Still working on the NYS credit, but optimistic.
  14. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

    It has been a while since I updated this

    I am sitting in my living room and it is 71 degrees. It is -12 out and extremely windy. The system is running in stage 2 with a few 15 minute intervals of electric aux heat every hour or so. I believe the design temperature for this system was -15 or -20. My EWT is 31.8 and the LWT is 26.1. The EWT was 35 a week ago, my field will recover when we get some warmer temps.

    This technology works as described.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  15. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    thanks for the update!!!

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