What am I missing?

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by Altnrgy, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Altnrgy

    Altnrgy Member

    Hello All,

    I have several recent quotes for a GSHP and ductwork in our existing house. We currently do not have central air but the ductwork can be added relatively easy (IMHO) as there is plenty of room to work above and from the side as we have a long garage. Easy access, well lit and no crawling

    Two quotes so far, both are for 3 ton 2 stage variable speed units, vertical loops. Both contractors come recommended and have geo experience. One quote is just over $21k (Climate Master) and the other is almost $23k (Bard). Wells are to be located within 40’ of the house and 80' on the indoor unit. I researched GEO in this area before I got these quotes and both appear to be much higher than what I could tell the average price is around here. Maybe there’s something special about my install which I am awaiting explanation for. The wells are going in my yard with no concrete or driveways to cross to get to my house.

    Of course I’d like to know if those quotes sound reasonable but I realize that’s a question whose answer is highly dependent on location and installation specifics. I’ve got a third recommended contractor with geo experience coming out tomorrow and if his quote is in the range of the others then I’ll assume that’s a fair price for my system in my area or they all have coffee at the same place in the morning.

    Adding to my confusion is that less than a year ago I was quoted $7,800 for a 3 ton Trane XL15 air source unit from one of the contractors that just gave me a quote for geo. Nothing changed but the type of unit; IE: same ductwork and location of indoor unit.

    What I’d really like some help with is figuring out why geo for me is more than a $13,000 up charge from air source. I’m not questioning that geo is better. I know it’s more efficient than the XL15, it includes the desuperheater, the equipment life will be longer, and is eligible for the 30% tax credit. What else did I miss?

    Both contractors as well as others in the area mentioned that drilling is $1,000/ton around here but maybe I heard that wrong. Does that sound low, high or about right? I assume that doesn’t include the piping nor the trenching and backfilling from the house to the wells. I also assume there’s a fair bit of money in the cost of antifreeze.

    I’m the last person to bust a guy’s chops for making money so please don’t think I’m griping about these contractors or looking for ammo to try to get them to lower their prices. I’m a contractor myself.

    Have I given you enough information to help me understand what I’m missing? I was fully expecting to pay a premium for GEO but this seems borderline crazy to me. Are my expectations the problem here?

  2. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    In Utah, drilling is close to $3000 per ton on small jobs.
  3. Looby

    Looby Member Forum Leader

    In southeastern PA, drilling was $18-$20 per foot (2 years ago).
    That included pipe, grouting, and the well-to-house trench -- but
    the "inside" HVAC contractor was responsible for antifreeze and

    ...so, UT and PA have at least one thing in common,

  4. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    as well as having guys passionate about geo
  5. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I'll echo $3k / ton (or more) drilling cost
  6. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Geo heat pump unit costs more than a 3 ton ASHP.
    Vertical loops + well drilling and grouting; about $3,000/ton (drilling only part of the picture).
    Electrical requirements may be greater (aux coils need a lotta juice).
    What you describe would be about a $25,000 job here (mid MI).

    You'll be glad you bought one.
  7. Altnrgy

    Altnrgy Member

    Thank you all very much. You guys are great.

    $9k vs. $3k for drilling explains a large part of my confusion. I'm sure the indoor unit costs more as well. Even if drilling is cheaper around here I'm sure it's not less than $2,500 per ton.

    I need to get some more information from these contractors as their quotes are painfully free of details. I think one of them is not planning on backup coils and mentioned something about using pea gravel instead of grout which concerns me after reading other threads. No back up coils probably isn't that big of a deal but poor heat transfer could be.

    Even though the price seems in line I'm still getting over the sticker shock. Both contractors offered budgetary pricing around $5k/ton or lower but their written quotes are substantially higher.

  8. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Just completed a 3 ton vertical system with DSH and 2 tanks,ductwork was already there, just had to adapt to heatpump. Price was close to $24K turnkey.
  9. moondawg

    moondawg Member

    How big is your lot? Going horizontal can save money if you've got the room.

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