New Here. New home WF 5 Series Question(s).

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Mgh-pa, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Mgh-pa

    Mgh-pa New Member

    Hi, everyone. My wife and I finished building a home about a month ago and have been moved in since December 20th (well, I'm still doing finish work, but we're in :) ).

    A little background about the home. We're in Northcentral PA, 3100 sq.ft single story with full walkout basement (unfinished). ICF basement, 9' ceilings basement and main floor, with a 15' family room ceiling. Lots of glass, but south facing (we're at 1000 ft elevation on top of a ridge). We did NuWool damp spray cellulose in the walls (2x6), with r49 sprayed in the ceilings (raised heel trusses). We also did R10 foam under our basement slab.

    We're running a WF 5 series with 3 vertical wells. 3 Zones (basement, main floor, and master suite). We are ALL electric (heating, cooking, washer/dryer), but did upgrade to a heat pump water heater.

    Anyways, the system keeps the house comfortable, so no problems there. I have been monitoring our energy usage on the Intellizone 2 since we moved in, and it seems like we're averaging about 28kwh/day, with average temps for the month being 35 (we're having a relatively mild January for here, but have had a few stretches in the low teens almost single digits). That seems acceptable to me (we have the main zone at 68, ensuite at 67, and basement is off since it stays 65-66 no matter what with no heat down there).

    My problem is that when I compare the usage (daily and monthly) on my thermostat compared to my usage on my suppliers website (PPL), it seems like I'm using about 55-60kwh a day. Now, I know that obviously I will have other things using energy throughout the day, but I REALLY thought the heat pump would be the bulk of my energy usage each day. As of right now, it seems my heat pump is accounting for about half of my daily energy usage.

    The only other energy hogs that we have would be our hot tub (I have that set a 59 and we're not really using it), and two upright and one chest. I doubt those items along with regular usage during the day is accounting for that much usage.

    This is all a long winded way of the energy usage reported on the Intellizone 2 accurate? If not, is it reasonable to expect my system is using much more than is being reported? If so, doesn't this seem a bit high given the relatively tight building envelope and conservative set point?

    If it IS accurate, I really need to figure out what is eating up the other half of my daily usage.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    What size heat pump? With 3 bores I would guess a 3 ton unit.

    Does the loop have 2 pumps circulating brine?

    Does the unit have aux heat strips? Sometimes they are on a separate circuit.

    We built our own house, still doing finish work 10 years later.
  3. Mgh-pa

    Mgh-pa New Member

    I forgot to mention that. It's a 4 ton unit. It may have been 4 bores, I actually can't remember.

    I do have AUX strips, but it shows it's never left Stage 1 during this time. Nor the Aux shown any usage in my charts.

    Just a single pump.
  4. SShaw

    SShaw Member

    Symphony is supposed to be fairly accurate.

    I have a similar sized house in VA with a 4T 7 series and my ratios are about the same as yours. My house is all electric with LED lighting, but was built in 1989 and has lots of windows.

    In December I used 1,355 kWh total and Symphony reports 654 kWh usage for the heat pump. That puts my overall usage at 2X the heat pump, which is about what you are seeing.

    Supposedly, the average home uses between 45%-50% of total electricity for heating and cooling throughout the year. Since a geothermal heat pump is far more efficient than average, that percentage would be lower, so you shouldn't expect a geothermal heat pump to use a majority of your electricity.
  5. Mgh-pa

    Mgh-pa New Member

    Just an update. I can't really track energy usage of the system components daily since they can't seem to keep my Symphony control unit to stay online.

    However, we've had a few cold snaps finally and during those days, we're near 33+ kwh total usage for the system with one or two days up in the 40+ kwh range. Talking to a friend who built a bigger home 4 years ago (3400 sq.ft), but two story, who just has fiberglass insulation and a conventional ASHP is basically using the same energy as me and his system was inly $12000 vs my22k (after rebates). Not sure what's going on.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  6. SShaw

    SShaw Member

    It sounds like you have a properly-installed and well-performing system, but you are looking for problems because you don't know what to expect in terms of electric usage.

    Your usage still sounds comparable to mine, and mine is in line with the system specs from Waterfurnacee, and mine is saving me substantially more than 50% compared to my old ASHP/Oil/Wood system. I wouldn't put much stock in the anecdotal comment from your friend unless it's backed up with some actual usage numbers.

    You can ask your dealer to run a Geolink report on your system, if they didn't do it already. This will show operating costs, balance point, electric usage vs temperature, etc. You will need an accurate Manual J load calculation for your house. But since you just built your house, either you should already have it, or it will be easy to do since you know the insulation values.
  7. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Congrats to your very efficient house. Seems like your geo system uses about 50% of your energy during the winter, roughly 840 kWh per month. Pretty much on target if it does no go beyond stage 1.

    So the issue is that the geo system and the house are too efficient, and you are trying to figure out what is using the other 50% of your houses' energy?
  8. Mgh-pa

    Mgh-pa New Member

    I suppose as long as the numbers seem good, I suppose, yes, my next step is to figure out what is using the remainder. We do have a hot tub (but it's sitting at 59 right now since we're not really actively using it, but wanted to have the option to if need be), two freezers (one chest and one upright). However, we do have a high efficiency heat pump water heater with a 50 gallon preheat tank, so water heating should be less than our previous home which was a 10 year old standard electric water heater. Maybe I'm doing just fine/normal, and my expectations were unrealistic.

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