Installation Diary

(Date as title) June 12

(Body Text) The facts - we currently have a failing, air-source heat pump. There are two components to an air-source heat pump: the outside compressor and the inside air handler. Our house is 19 years old. The compressor was replaced ten years ago when the system was 9 years old for about $3500. The air handler is original, and has been leaking and making a terrible racket for several years. We've spent over $1500 in the last five years trying to keep the air handler limping along until the compressor failed. At 10-years-old, the compressor is now failing.

The primary reason for doing this diary is because when I was researching geothermal heat pumps, I couldn't find any information as to what to expect during the whole process - from start to finish. I was warned that getting a geothermal was messy, very messy. I thought I was prepared.

Hopefully, when others decide to go green, after reading this diary, they'll understand this whole process better, and find it as fascinating as I have.

(List style sample) Some of our cost crunching included:

  • An online energy audit to estimate our actual electric bill. Compared the two systems with our current electric bills.
  • Air-source estimates: $1017.97/yr projected heating/air-conditioning/hot water
  • Ground-source estimates: $529.89/yr projected heating/air-conditioning/hot water
  • Air-source has a 10-year life expectancy
  • Ground-source has a +20-year life expectancy
  • Ground-source provides 75% of hot water needs free
  • Ground-source has half the environmental foot-print
  • As the cost of electricity climbs, the savings from geothermal would be even more significant
  • Air-source maintenance costs are moderate
  • Ground-source maintenance costs are low
  • Discovered that it would take approximately 7 years for the geothermal system to begin paying for itself. That's +13 years of projected, drastically reduced electric bills! Do your own geoexchange calculations.
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