New Jersey New Construction in NJ *Need Quote Help*

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by MatildainNJ, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. MatildainNJ

    MatildainNJ New Member

    Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and probably have no business being here. However, I'm in desperate need of help and advice on quotes for our geothermal system for our house. My fiance and I are on the younger side and building our home. So far the two quotes that have come back for Geothermal has been higher than expected. Is this truly the pricing or are we blatantly getting ripped off? We absolutely want to pay for quality and hard work, but we do not want to get scammed because we are young. One quote was 57K and the other was 107K.

    Here are some statistics on our house, if you have any more questions please ask and I will answer them the best I can!

    The home is currently 3,700 sq ft with the possibility of 4,500 sq ft if we finish the space above the garage. That space is framed but we will not finish it right away, possibly waiting two years into the future. However, we want to plan ahead for that space. The house is going to be closed cell foam throughout, a very tight envelope. It currently has Anderson 400 Series windows with a U factor of .29 so it will be a good envelope.

    - The house is currently on 7 acres of land

    - Two zone system, one upstairs one downstairs

    -Think it is probably best to have one unit in the basement and one unit in the attic for ductwork, but please suggest an optimal layout

    - Dedicated Return System for each of the bedrooms upstairs (4) and two (2) returns downstairs for even heating/cooling distribution

    - An HRV or ERV to bring in outside air connected to the system

    - A high efficiency heat pump

    - Full installation of the geothermal and HVAC system

    I can upload house plans too if you need them. Thank you for listening :)
  2. heatoldhome

    heatoldhome Geo Student Forum Leader

    What size systems are they quoting?

    What kind of loop field are they quoting?

    Did they do load calculations (manual j) for your home? Did they share and of this info with you?
  3. MatildainNJ

    MatildainNJ New Member

    I conducted the manual J calculations (mechanical engineer in the energy business) and found that design load for the home is 6 tons (72,000BTU/hr) for heating and ~5 tons (59,000BTU/hr) for cooling. Once the house is insulated I plan to do a blower door test and update the calc based on the ACHs we get. I am completely sold on geothermal, think it is a real great way to go, but I am struggling with price and finding someone in my area that I can trust to do the right job. Are these numbers indicative of what these systems cost? I know there are a lot of factors, but are these in the ballpark?I really want to do it, so any advice is sooo appreciated.

    Since this is new construction I am looking for a complete turnkey system with ductwork and all. I can always give the ductwork to someone else to try to cut a little cost, but would rather not do that if possible. Here is the breakdown of the two quotes:

    Contractor #1
    (2) 3-ton Hydron Modules YT036 w/ 10kW Aux Heaters
    (1) 40 Gallon Buffer Tank
    1,200 ft of Raugeo PEXa Pipe (4 trenches at 300 ft)
    HRV & Hybrid Electric Water Heater $2.9k addition
    Supplied heat load calcs

    Contractor #2
    $107k ($87k for the 5-series)
    (2) 4-ton Water Furnace 7 Series
    (1) 40 Gallon Buffer Tank
    Includes HRV and Electric Water Heater
    Vertical bore loops (did not give me specifics)
    Did not supply heat load calcs

    I have the room for horizontal loops and think it is the right choice as long as it is 6' below grade or more (frost line in NJ can reach down to 3'). My soil is mostly loomy and sandy, but there is some clay layers at around 7' below grade or so. I have been the lead engineer on energy efficiency jobs for large universities and cities that had geothermal systems with horizontal loops and found that the problems were from inadequate depth and too close spacing between the loops. Since NJ is mostly heating, we found that we extracted more heat then supplied and because of the poor design the field was shot and EWT was coming in too low. Is that a fair statement in people's experience?? Since the ground is a giant heat exchanger can I ever do harm by sizing the loop too big? Or going wider apart for the horizontal loops? I have the space . . .

    Also, my birds eye view of Water Furnace is that it is a better brand, the units are incredible and really push the efficiency scale. Any preference on manufacturer of the units?

    Funny thing I have been the brains behind large scale energy efficiency projects, but have never actually put a hammer to a nail so shame on me :( , but that is what a project manager is for I suppose. It is amazing that I get so befuddled when it comes to my own project. Any help / advice is appreciated. Thanks!
  4. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Not sure on your pricing - as it is not my operating area. Others can likely comment - or even get you quotes.

    As to the commercial/institutional comments. Yes, EWTs can be effected by poor (inadequate) design. They can also be equally effected by increased equipment demands.

    Nothing necessarily wrong with oversizing a ground loop, but I always say, you still need to know the right size before you talk about oversizing.

    For your system, you can likely get something more economical with shared (zoned) ducts on a 1-unit system. Your loads don't necessarily dictate you need two units, but you are saying your ducting does?
  5. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    $57K does not seem unreasonable, especially if, since this is new construction, it also includes ductwork. 200 feet per ton sounds a bit short for horizontal loops. Are you sure that was pipe length, or is it possibly 2,400 feet (4x300' x 2 (up and back))which seems more reasonable. My 2,200' of loop gets a bit too chilly with 5 tons of equipment in Maryland. You really need to look hard at the design software on the loops.
    $107K looks quite a bit high and may be driven by the lithography and drilling requirements. With the available acreage, you have lots of opportunity to take advantage of it and avoid drilling.
    If your attic is vented, you will want to seriously rethink putting GSHP and ductwork up there.
  6. moey

    moey Member

    I assume the second quote includes the well drilling equipment as well?? Id throw that quote out..
  7. SeekingAdvice

    SeekingAdvice Member

    Your second quote has a $20K difference in price between the 5 series and the 7 series? Where there any other differences in those quote? I am not an installed, but I had a system installed last year and I would think $5k to $10k sounds more reasonable for a "7 series up charge" for 2 units, also if you need 72k BTU, I don't see why the quote would have 2 4 tons.
    My house is a bit smaller (3200 sqft) a lot draftier (3100CFM @50Bar if I remember properly) and only moderately insulated, but I got by with a 5 ton (that didn't go into EHEAT at all this year). (That being said, all my windows are 3x4, no cathedral ceilings, etc).

    Are these the only two local companies?
    I know NJ is an expensive place, and the first quote might not be terrible (I was around half that for a 5 ton 7 series in Upstate NY, but I didn't have any ductwork done). But the second quote seems a bit silly.
    I did run into a company myself with crazy prices under the assumption that anyone who wants geothermal has money to spend, needless to say I didn't go with them as they came off as "used car salesman"

    Try to get the second company to price a smaller system (your data doesn't show a need for 2 4 tons in my opinion) and ask them why there is a $20k markup for the 7 series.

    I love my 7 series (which has run constantly since December, by design), but I wouldn't pay a $20k premium for it.

    In regards to WF and Hydron. I have 2 friends that have hydrons and love them, I have a WF 7 and love it. I wanted a variable speed (living in upstate NY air conditioning is a much smaller need than heating, the 7 series allows me to run as low as 20% (1ton) of cooling using my 5 ton unit.

    I will stop ranting. Good luck, there are a few western NY installers on the site who might be able to give opinions on pricing (they would have a better idea than a consumer such as myself at least).
  8. chiefsr

    chiefsr New Member

    Shoot a message to me, please. I have not been able to figure out how to send one to you via this forum, but I have a couple questions about your system. I am in a similar situation that you were in prior to system installation.
  9. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Beings from Im from NJ too. The large swing in pricing is alarming.
    I would imagine your from North Jersey ( since i do not recognize the town name)?
    Northern NJ generally has a higher price/ft. to drill vertical loops than Southern NJ.
    I would look for other quotes from some qualified reputable companies
  10. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Maybe I am missing something, but there is really no reason why you could not use a 5 ton unit with a zoning system. One unit is less upfront than 2. Yes, 1200 ft is short for horizontal loops.
    The retail price of the 7 series is about $6K more per unit, plus you should have a variable speed flow center, which is about $1K more for each unit. But again, no reason why you should not get a 5 ton 7 series with a zoning system and call it a day. The loop should be a bit larger with a variable speed heat pump compared to a dual stage compressor unit (5 series, hydron).

Share This Page