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Old 12-05-2018, 10:03 PM   #1
rvd
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Default Geothermal Heat Pump

Wife and I are considering a property that has a geothermal heat pump system (a water well and pond are part of the system with separate interior units upstairs/downstairs). We know nothing about these... what's the good, bad, and the ugly?
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:30 AM   #2
Rat
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Is it open loop or closed loop? Closed loop means it doesn't use outside water, the same water is circulated in the loop; an open loop means it pulls water in from some source and dumps it out again after it has made the circuit.

Closed loop is best as you don't have to fuss with filters, intake screens and low, or no, source water. Just higher maintenance usually, if the source water is reliable.

Geothermal heatpumps are very efficient and well built machines; but they need maintenance like everything else.

The only real downside is the replacement cost, in most cases you will pay a 15-30% premium when compared to conventional equipment; remember, it is more efficient and usually lasts longer. So, over the lifespan it is about even.

Lots of upsides, no outdoor unit making noise (no condenser fan running), much smaller footprint is it is a split system, all in one if it is package unit. Maintenance is easy if closed loop, you will need to maintain a pump for the water side as well though.

Find a company that knows what they are doing, most do not. The water side is where the confusion comes in for most companies;they will need the tools to take pressure drops across the condenser coil, a flush cart for when the motor needs changing and an understanding of the difference between loop pressure from summer to winter (if it is a closed loop).

Great machines though, nothing to worry about if you have a good company working on and maintaining them.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:48 AM   #3
rvd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat View Post
Is it open loop or closed loop? Closed loop means it doesn't use outside water, the same water is circulated in the loop; an open loop means it pulls water in from some source and dumps it out again after it has made the circuit.

Closed loop is best as you don't have to fuss with filters, intake screens and low, or no, source water. Just higher maintenance usually, if the source water is reliable.

Geothermal heatpumps are very efficient and well built machines; but they need maintenance like everything else.

The only real downside is the replacement cost, in most cases you will pay a 15-30% premium when compared to conventional equipment; remember, it is more efficient and usually lasts longer. So, over the lifespan it is about even.

Lots of upsides, no outdoor unit making noise (no condenser fan running), much smaller footprint is it is a split system, all in one if it is package unit. Maintenance is easy if closed loop, you will need to maintain a pump for the water side as well though.

Find a company that knows what they are doing, most do not. The water side is where the confusion comes in for most companies;they will need the tools to take pressure drops across the condenser coil, a flush cart for when the motor needs changing and an understanding of the difference between loop pressure from summer to winter (if it is a closed loop).

Great machines though, nothing to worry about if you have a good company working on and maintaining them.
Thank you for the response. I do not know much about it yet, other than it has a water well dedicated solely to it and it involves the pond in front of the house. I have a call into the company that services the system, hopefully they call me today. Again thanks for the info!
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:05 AM   #4
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This is an open loop you are referring to.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:05 AM   #5
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It is an open loop you are referring to
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:16 AM   #6
Creed Killer
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I work for a electric company and my department deals with rebates for ac systems and all efficient parts of the house. I have probably met with 300-400 people in the last two years and I have seen only 2 Geothermal units. The one thing that both have talked about was the expense that comes along with them. Are they efficient? Absolutely but just be prepared when it comes time to fix them or upgrade them after many years of use... it gets incredibly expensive quick!
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:54 PM   #7
rvd
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Thank you for the responses
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:00 PM   #8
Lungbustr
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I would like to hear of anyone with first hand experience of owning a closed loop geothermal. Sounds very interesting.
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