New Home, want Geo but cost is high

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by jimbopa, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. jimbopa

    jimbopa New Member

    So I am building a new home, two story farm house 3475 sq ft in NEPA. The contractor gave me a deduct of 12K for a two zone air heatpump. I met with two contractors, one said about 30K for a geo system, the other said 39K. The higher bid said the heat load was 60,000btu and colling 47,000 -he recommeded a 5 ton system.He was using three 200 ft wells. The lower priced guy was using a 4 ton system with two wells each at 250 ft. My issue, 20-30K more for a geo system seems excessive, I know i would get a 30% tax credit . Based on some DYI stuff I felt the equipment was at around 8K, the wells I can drill for $6 -8per ft so say 600 ft at 8 0r $4800. The duct work for two zones, figured another $8k. Just hard to see how it's coming in so high. I need to be at 25-28K to justify this, any suggestions?:) the system would be a closed look, both has the super water heater, and resistance backup.
     
  2. Hydro Pete

    Hydro Pete New Member

    I would say If your total load is accurate a 5 ton unit would be sufficient. you may use a little kw in the dead of winter but not much... I would consider somewhere from 150-175'/ton of well bore. If you have some land available you could do a horizontal loop...should be lower install cost for you. A horizontal loop is alot more pipe but alot less equipmernt needed to install. Down here (Reading PA) they are running 1500-2000/ton verticle. My wife and I installed our loop with the help of a backhoe guy. Our loop has been in 18 years and I just installed a new unnit on it...not a problem..
    The cost of the loop is tuff to keep down however it is an improvement to the land and will be there long after you...Its like an oil tank you dont have to refill.

    feel free to contact me for more info if you would like.

    Pete
     
  3. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    4 ton is a more sensible sized unit based on the information you provided. The 5 ton may actually cost more to operate (due to larger compressor running all the time to avoid a little auxiliary usage) and obviously costs more to install.
    You are correct that the retail price of an installed system is more expensive than the sum of all the hardware......Your well drilling guestimate neglects grouting, loops, vacuum truck etc. ~15/foot is about right in MI. Other factors not obvious to the casual observer is that duct systems are often larger for geo systems.
    What would be more expensive than a 30K geo after 9K in tax credits would be a 15K fossil system with no tax credits that costs twice as much to operate.
    I spoke with a friend in the business the other day and we were discussing the ebb and flow of geo "johnnies come lately" and we both agreed that they often get into trouble due to an under estimation of job costs. Whether the extra duct or the thermostat that costs 4 times as much, 100's in incidentals become thousands very quickly

    600 feet of wells for a 5 ton is less than I would guess, we average 150'/ton around here.
    Good Luck,
    Joe
     
  4. Wannabegeo

    Wannabegeo New Member

    My new home is in a very different part of the country than the one being discussed but I too want Geothermal. I've gotten 3 proposals ranging from 8 tons to 12 tons and the home will be about 5k sq ft with foam insulation and sealed environment. My est. cost of geo are 50K, 62K and 68K all before tax credit. The brands being used are Comfort Aire by Heat Controller Inc., Waterfurnace and Climatemaster respectively. I've found that the cost of drilling in all three proposals ranges from $20K to 25K. My primary question is whether anyone is familiar with the Comfort Aire brand by Heat Controller Inc and what it's track record is for reliability, actual operating cost and performance, warranty claim response and other similar issues. What criteria should be used to evaluate the various geo equipment manufacturers other than my application requirements. I'm also concerned my system is being oversized which is driving add'l cost.
     
  5. Texas Cooler

    Texas Cooler New Member

    I would want to see a manual J calculation done that accounts for the superior insulating qualities of the spray foam. I would not expect a contractor to give you the calculations to use with another contractor but the contractor should be able to quote that the system will deliver "X" amount of cooling or heating with a pre-determined entering water temperature. With so many inexperienced newcomers to the geo business, it would be prudent to either pay up front to see all the calculations or have your contract written up so that all the calculations are presented to you after the job is complete and paid for.
     
  6. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    wannabe,
    comfortaire's geomax 2 is a powder coated, relabled climatemaster tranquility. comfortaire has longer warranty on compressor than CM, and has been around a long time.
    Too little info to comment on cost.
    J
     

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