New Installation in Maryland

Discussion in 'Geothermal Heat Pump Testimonials' started by WhiteRabbit, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Member

    Just a late arrival, but I did read all the way through this thread and from what I understand I am not encouraged that the technology has been improved..

    I have a 3 Ton Water Furnace two speed (pre-scroll) compressor, two speed loop pump (really two pumps) and three speed air fan. It also has a two step resistive heat axillary, each about 5KW. I have one disconnected so when aux is called in it goes no higher than the first 5KW. I do this mainly because I set the thermostat back to 60 degrees at about 10 pm and it gets moved back up at about 7 am. I try to bring it up with repeated 2 degree steps (yes I can disconnect the other aux element, and have operated that way but my wife notices how slow the temperature come up with no aux heat added), but if my wife gets there first it goes immediately to 68 degrees. This can result in a 5KWH hit on the electric meter in only one hour, but the heat does come up faster.

    As for noise, the compressor is in the basement on a cement floor. I can not hear the compressor unless I am in the basement, down there I can even hear the loop pumps if I am in that end of the basement. Upstairs I do not hear the circulation fan which is running in low when the compressor is off. In stage 1, I can hear the circulation fan, but I have to think about it to hear it, and in stage 2, I can hear the circulation fan whenever I am next to a hot air outlet, especially where those outlets/vents at head level. Overall I will rate the unit as very quiet.

    To this I will add it operated flawlessly for about 15 years when the circulation fan went out. That was long after that motor had been discontinued (along with my model HP) so Waterfurnace had to use a retrofit to get my unit back in service. It then ran a couple more years and had problems with the loop pumps.

    The age of my unit has brought me to this forum to learn more about the new models, as I may have to replace the compressor on my existing unit or just replace the whole unit. From what I read here I am leaning toward replacing the compressor and will not seek an "upgrade" to a scroll model.

    I am in North Central NJ, colder than the case study of Whiterabbit and while I have a smaller house about 2,000 sq ft in two stories, my high month electric use in the winter is no more than $250, or about 1,750 KWH at 14 cents per (yes around 50 KWH per day). This is 100% electric including hot water, cooking and washing, lights (everything but my wood stove which doesn't get used much unless we have a power outage as was the case the end of October through a couple of weeks into November). I don't know if I have the data, but I did compare supplementing my heat with a hardwood fire in a high efficiency Quadrafire Fireplace insert (wood stove) and have concluded it is cheaper for me to use the HP than wood for heat. I still use wood on real cold nights where the outside temperature is in the teens but do not burn over night. I have two 250' vertical loops that run deeply into the aquifer and while I have tired to measure the loop temperature with the small digital gauges that have an outside sensor I can place under the insulation, I have never seen a temperature anywhere near freezing.

    I am going to seek a replacement cost bid from Waterfurnace, and maybe Climatemaster as the 30% tax rebate may make just repairing more expensive than replacing. Still my past experience sound far more trouble free than what I read here. My installer who is still in business (his son has taken over) he switched from Waterfurnace to Climatemaster. Otherwise the WF would be a "slam dunk", as that installer did one great job and no warranty work was required.

    I welcome someone telling my I misread the problems discussed in this thread. For sure it tells me why the Geo cost is so high as it has to include thousands in warranty parts and labor.

    I don't read improvement

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