British Columbia Insulated duct work savings!?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Geobaby, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Geobaby

    Geobaby New Member

    Hello all.

    Purchased a home with an older geothermal unit installed. (Installed mid 1990's)

    My climate dips below -25c frequently in winter months. My geo unit is on full blast non stop and can barley keep up unless wood furnace is used..

    The unit is a water furnace premier 2, horizontal loop 4 ton unit. The house is built in 1970's and is 3000sq foot rancher I am guessing the system is undersized.

    If I run just geothermal no wood assistance bimonthly bills would be anywhere from 700-1000$ And below 15 degrees Celsius on cold days. I am looking to cut that down.. While I am home I run wood furnace all day and load it up before I got to sleep. Fire goes out roughly 2am I wake up around 5:30-6 relight the fire. Bi-Monthly bills while using wood furnace with geothermal only kicking on a few hours a nights is around 300-400$.

    My first plan of attack would be to insulate the ductwork. Under the house is a non insulated dirt crawl space.. 2' in some areas less than a foot in some areas, my eye can see small air gaps and poor connection points.

    Searching the forums I can find no one who has a before and after insulated duct testimonial.. There are many snaking ducts under the house which I'm guessing losing lots of heat due to lower air temperatures from geothermal compared to wood furnace. Not only are temperatures coming from geo unit lower then standard furnace but also in some instances running 50' under the non insulated crawlspace before air enters the house. I assume the mild temperature released from unit is cooled to barley room temperature before entering home.

    So I guess I am asking has anyone under taken this job, and how much roughly monthly on your bill did it save? I would rather not spend a few thousand dollars on insulation and crawl under house for days sealing and insulating ductwork if is only going to make 5$ difference a month.
  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I'm in your area, and know the energy rates. If a 6-ton unit ran full time for an entire month, you are looking at about $350. So something is not right with your unit. Likely a plenum heater doing all the work?

    Insulated ducting is more of a code requirement than anything in our area. So not much before/after. If it is in an unconditioned space, insulate it.
  3. jk96

    jk96 Member

    I was running the numbers also and couldn't come close to his costs even with the unit running 24/7. Aux heat would have to be running all the time.
  4. Geobaby

    Geobaby New Member

    An example from last year.. fire in morning gone for day fire at night.. right off my bill

    Attached Files:

  5. Geobaby

    Geobaby New Member

    So I just estimated if I had no fire what costs I would be getting, that's where I got the 700-1000$ guess
  6. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Yes. We're just saying, your geo is likely not working properly. You have a plenum heater installed as well?
  7. Geobaby

    Geobaby New Member

    I've been to the installers and asked lots of questions I have searched on here and seem to have got a balnk stare back I'm sure you guys will be more help.

    There doesn't apear to be any power to unit other than unit power and pumps. The knock out for six power is still in place never punched out.

    Also here's a photo of my switch dip switch settings maybe you guys could diagnose them?

    Here is the manual link to save you searching if needed

    Thanks for help so far !

    Attached Files:

  8. Geobaby

    Geobaby New Member

    Knockout for aux power.. not six power sorry typing on my phone never noticed the auto correct
  9. jk96

    jk96 Member

    Am I reading correctly that most of your ductwork is 1). uninsulated and 2.) under the homes crawlspace where temps reach as low as -15C or 5 F? If so I can't imagine you are getting much if any use from your system. I'm sure the pros will chime in but with the lower temp output of geo I would guess you are getting little to no use from your system causing the aux heat to run all the time. This would be the cause of the high bills you are seeing.
  10. Geobaby

    Geobaby New Member

    The temperatures remain above zero.. my water pipes are down there but on cold days it's chilly down there for sure.

    I was hoping to find someone who has done a before and after. To see some numbers etc.

    I'm sure it will be beneficial zero doubts about that just looking for some real world numbers from any board members who have done this in the past

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