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  1. #1
    steach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Rock Tavern, NY

    Geothermal Heating/Cooling ?

    I'm in the house building/planning process in upstate NY / Northern NJ.

    Is Geothermal heating/cooling worth the $$ (knowing IRS/NYS will pay for ~40% of the cost)

    1-Nat'l Gas is NOT available.
    2-I will be excavating lot for septic/field.
    3-I prefer water/water (radiant heat)

    Also, if not Geotherm, do I heat with oil or propane ? is there a dual-fuel residential boiler ?

  2. #2
    Banned User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Milwaukee WI
    If they pay 40 percent I would go for it. The energy usage is drastically less than any other source.

  3. #3
    How to start a thread here?

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    ... The energy usage is drastically less than any other source.
    There are a bunch of places online where you can calculate the financial investment rate of return and the energy costs/gains using geothermal. Lots of variables involved.

    A really good geothermal will return about 3 watts of heat for every one watt of electrical power it consumes. In effect geothermal (assuming this is a heat pump based system with an in-ground coolant loop) is a form of electric heating, with an efficiency 'multiplier' from the geothermal ground heat source.

    The cost of electricity becomes a factor, as does the heating requirements of the structure.

    If the house is really well built with very high grade insulation and well sealed building methods, it is possible to drive the heating energy requirements low enough that the normal activity inside the house will provide a big portion of the total heat required. Have a look at passively heated building designs to see what is possible. Even non-passive houses can have tremendous heating efficiency if built to the passive standards.

    Energy-wise, virtually all of the electrical power consumed inside the house (excluding the heat pump itself, for the moment) turns into heat. For example, turn on a light that consumes 20 watts. Most of that 20 watts ends up as heat (even the portion initially emitted as light, and even for CFL or LED lighting).

    Proper designed and managed building ventilation is a big deal in highly energy efficient houses. Kitchen exhaust fans and bathroom fans can suck a lot of heat out of a house, or not, depending on how they are done.

    Heat exchange ventilator is a must, in my view. Makes a huge difference in how fresh the air inside the house is, and can put a lid on heat losses due to ventilation requirements. Must be properly specified and sized, and ducted to properly handle moist air from bathrooms, for example.

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