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Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984

Is anybody doing geothermal heating and cooling?

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I have Long range nuke power panels on my roof 

15 years ago I worked in building that heated and cooled from deep earth wells great idea . big $$$$ but over 30 year it will pay off 

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I own the mineral rights on a piece of property our family had in Imperial Valley in California. I lease the geothermal rights rights longterm to a company that produces and sells electricity from the geothermal energy on the land. I get a nice check each month because my Dad knew the potential value of this resource and kept it when he stopped farming and sold the land. Dad was pretty savy back in the 50's.

So I guess you could say I am doing geothermal energy!

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I have geothermal heating and AC in my home.

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I do too. The big plus is you do not have the large compressor unit outside the house making noise. Heating and cooling are very efficient. I have a whole house backup generator, so electric is not a problem.

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I have been doing a little looking into passive geo thermal , I might try cooling  by putting pvc below the frost line and pushing the air with a solar fan 

 

 in my area it looks like I need to put it about 6 ft deep , hard to get that deep given all the flint rock here 

 

 but it should give some where close to a 57* out put , still trying to figure out the volume needed to take avantage of this 

 

 Chickasaw Bill 

 

 might be a blind rabbit hole I am looking at :unsure:

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I looked at it once casually about 10 years ago. The initial expense is really high.  Figured I wouldn't live long enough to see the savings.

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Looked into it some 17 years ago. Was 2 1/2 times as expensive as installing a Trane XL-18. Would save a lot on the electric bill, but would take around 25 years to come out ahead of the Trane. You still will have the expense of replacing the geothermal unit around every 20 years just like the heat pump and that unit will cost more. You will only have to dig the wells for the geothermal once if using the well system or one of the others. 

Overall I see the greatest savings is the monthly bill. With the Trane I spend on average $160 during the winter for heating, and around $115 month for Summer. I have just under 3200 sq ft home. Live in central Missouri where common to be 0 degrees in winter and mid 90's very high humidity summers. 

The company owner that put my Trane in was originally going to do geothermal at his own home, but after looking things over went ahead and put the Trane-18 in his own place. 

Overall the decision will be yours, but this was my experience. The Trane XL-18 has two compressors. Runs on the little one when not much needed to keep the temp where set. More, the big one kicks in. Two speed fan, After having the unit 17 years completely satisfied. After around 4 years something fried the complete outside unit. Mechanic said it looked like a lightning strike but was obvious that was not the cause. Under warranty and complete outside unit replaced at no cost. Was a complete 10 year warranty.

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I helped install a geothermal system about 30 years ago and it wasn't hard to install. If you have access to a backhoe and can do the dirt work yourself it's a big savings..

 

The savings is in the cooling, the heat still comes from the warmer liquid coming from the constant 50-55 degree underground loop system and there is a compressor in the system.

The cost of cooling the house was about $15 monthly, and it was a large home, 3000 square feet. Cost was running a small pump and the HVAC blower.

I was not there for the heating part of the job, we did the install in the summer.

 

The guy I helped out was a friend new to geothermal systems and he basically installed the system for the new homeowner at cost. It was a learning experience for all. Now my friend had 25 employees and 6-7 trucks that solely install ground loop systems. The payoff back then was supposed to be in 7 years.

 

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Wife and I looked at geothermal thirty years ago, but went to solar.  Much less expensive and just as efficient in SoCal.  The first thing we did when we moved to AZ was put in solar panels.  Put in six more than the company suggested because I figured over the years I'll end up using that much more electricity.

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Posted (edited)

Years ago Texas had rebates for new construction homes and buildings.

Many were installed in some areas.

They worked well.

When it came time to replace them, I would venture to say 90% were replaced with conventional systems.

Geothermal has usually been more expensive and conventional systems have come a long way in efficiency. 
 

One of the biggest things is whether your area has lots of companies trained to work on geothermal.
if not, you’ll probably be stuck with the company that installed it, which limits competition for pricing and good customer service.

 

They are different from traditional systems due to having fluids, pumps and controls more similar to commercial systems.

Most residential techs aren’t trained in geothermal, except maybe in certain geographic areas.

Having to use more talented technicians usually means paying higher service costs.

 

In Texas, a number of years ago we had severe droughts. 
The soil dried out, contracted, and separated a little from the geothermal loops in the ground.  
Efficiency and capacity deteriorated.  

They stopped cooling as well as they previously had.

Those that used ponds had issues due to declining water levels leaving pipes exposed. 
 

So, Geothermal is great in certain areas of the country.

Just do your homework. 

Edited by Del Rio Pete
.

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Had geothermal heating and cooling in our last house, had to replace a Bosch unit....BIG $$. Unit was about 10 years old.

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17 hours ago, Chickasaw Bill SASS #70001 said:

I have been doing a little looking into passive geo thermal , I might try cooling  by putting pvc below the frost line and pushing the air with a solar fan 

 

 in my area it looks like I need to put it about 6 ft deep , hard to get that deep given all the flint rock here 

 

 but it should give some where close to a 57* out put , still trying to figure out the volume needed to take avantage of this 

 

 Chickasaw Bill 

 

 might be a blind rabbit hole I am looking at :unsure:

just pushing air through buried pvc? Is this a workable solution in your area? 

 

I must always remind myself that different areas have different solutions

18 hours ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

I do too. The big plus is you do not have the large compressor unit outside the house making noise. Heating and cooling are very efficient. I have a whole house backup generator, so electric is not a problem.

There is a compressor but it is quieter?

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Right now it is just a theory , the trick is going to be getting the heat exchange , cooling the air, as it moves through the earth in the pipe 

 

 if , you had a cave handy , you could pull the cooler air out of it to cool a small well insulated structure 

 

 I think damp soil would be the best conductor to cool the air , is should also work in reverse in the winter , proviving air at 57* 

 

 making it much easier to heat , than freezing or below ambient air 

 

  CB 

 

like I said before , it MAY be a blind hole :unsure:

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Heat transfer involving water is way faster than just air. In culinary school they say 17 times, but I wouldn’t swear to that number. Also the thermal momentum of water is way stronger than air.

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I've read about coils of pipe under manure piles or compost pits for heating. Pretty primitive, however they may supplement heating.

Living in a harsh environment like Wyoming, I don't recommend anyone having a system that is reliant on electricity. Everyone should have an alternative heat source; wood stove, propane heater, kerosene heater, something in case of a prolonged power outage. Yeah, generators are great until they run out of fuel. Most folks don't have a 100 gallon tank for gasoline or diesel. We lost power last winter due to an ice storm, the wood stove kept us warm and we had a couple meals that Belle prepared on the stove. In our current political climate I'd suggest to everyone to be prepared for potential electrical outages. Waiting for someone to save you is not an option.

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