Indiana Third replacement geothermal

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Jimibooks, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. Jimibooks

    Jimibooks New Member

    I've been a great fan of geothermal since 1980. When we built a 4,000 sq. ft. commercial building in 1980, we installed two 4-ton geothermal units (open loop) to heat/cool the place. They lasted ~ 16 years, when corrosion took over. At that point, we put 2 Carrier 4-ton units in, and they're still trucking along (with an occasional valve replacement, etc.) 24 years later.

    But the situation I have is at home. The house was built in 1970; we purchased it in 1978; and in 1988/89, when we did a major remodel and addition, we switched over to open-loop geo at home, too. The first unit lasted until 2006 (18 years, give or take), and again, the culprit was corrosion (and perhaps an improperly installed condensate drip pan, which began to afflict other parts). Since 2006, we've been on a Comfort-Aire 4-ton unit, which was quiet and efficient. But it lost refrigerant in the last year, and the major leak seems to be in the compressor coils, with some minor leakage also in the evap coils. Sigh.

    Our original contractor, which was owned by a mechanical engineer who knew his stuff, was sold a decade ago when he retired. So we're been dealing with the successor (I tend not to switch vendors for just a few dollars; I'm more interested in consistency), and I'm generally impressed with the service from the successor. Our system is a split system (with a natural gas forced-air system as backup). And the successor is recommending either a Bard 4-ton Trio system (available on a one- or two-day order) or a ClimateMaster 4-ton TES Tranquility system. The latter, however, for a split system is an 8-week back-order, because apparently CM only makes the split system to order. The latter is not a deal-killer, in that we can run on the furnace (although gas is still much more expensive than our geo electricity bills.

    I am also getting an estimate from the local WaterFurnace dealer (early this coming week), just as a check on the vendor we've worked with in the past.

    For what it's worth, the EER rating on the Bard is ~ 30 and on the ClimateMaster it's ~ 26. The COP on the Bard is ~ 6.0 and on the CM 4.3. The numbers are in Bard's favor. Pricing is nearly identical.

    But I'd never heard of Bard before. That doesn't in itself argue against it; and the fact that the CM is made-to-order (perhaps just the boxes??) gives me a bit of pause; if something's not a completely normal production run, it could be negative? The warranties appear to be similar (10 years parts; 5 years labor).

    Anyway, that's the rough picture. Any suggestions on other questions I should ask? In some respects, reliability is my biggest concern. Thirteen years is not terrible; but it's not as good as I expected out of the Comfort-Aire.

    (Note: I live 51 miles from WF headquarters and about 70 from Bard's, not that that matters!)
  2. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The Bard COP is not significantly higher that the Climatemaster. Nor is the EER. Someone looked up wrong numbers.

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