In my travels, whenever anyone asks me what I do, I usually say, “I install geothermal heating and cooling systems”.

Many times the person I’m speaking to then says, “Oh, I don’t have enough space for that”.

Geothermal installations in Massachusetts do not require large swaths of land! I have only encountered 4 or 5 properties where it was not possible.

I am always surprised by the number of people who are familiar with photos of horizontal installations that can take acres of land. In my entire geothermal career, I have installed only three horizontal systems in Massachusetts and here is a VIDEO showing why. Encountering rocks, boulders and bedrock during digging is a nightmare. We almost always install vertical boreholes using a drill rig. The drill rig is 35 feet long, 8 feet wide and 13 feet tall. It weighs about 67,000 lbs (scroll down for photos). It is driven on the highway and on any roads that don’t have weight restrictions. Most homes need only one to four boreholes. Each borehole is only 6 inches in diameter.

If you’re not sure whether you have enough space for geothermal, please give us a call at 617-955-0063 for a preliminary assessment over the phone.

Space for Geothermal Installations in Massachusetts

At the location shown below, we installed 2 geothermal borings in the front yard (yellow dots). The first boring is about 15 feet off the foundation and right outside the front door. The second boring is about 15 feet out from there. The photo on the right shows the drill rig and two support trucks. Although the backyard is quite large, we didn’t feel comfortable backing the truck into that location because of the fairly steep slope.

 

At the location shown below, we installed 2 geothermal borings in the front yard. Again, the first boring was about 15 feet off the foundation, while the second is about 15 feet from there. There was not enough space between the house and the property lines to get the truck in the backyard. The photo on the right shows the drill rig and one support truck in the front yard.

 

The home shown below had a very large front yard but we chose to drill as close to the house as possible.  We could not drill further to the north because of the water and sewer lines. Access to the backyard appeared quite challenging because of the slope and limited turning radius of the truck. If you look carefully, you can see that we were able to pull the drill rig in between the garage and the lamp post.

 

At the home shown below we installed two geothermal borings 12 feet off the foundation in the front yard. The photo on the right shown the drill rig pulled into a very narrow space.  We were able to pull the drill rig in between the front steps and the lamppost.

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3 Comments

  1. Because of their small earth loop size, DX systems can be installed in relatively small areas and in relatively shallow soil. This provides a flexibility of installation that is useful in allowing many properties to be served by geothermal that could not be served otherwise. A direct exchange system ground loop can be drilled with a small drill rig that can fit into small side yards and gardens under existing trees. It can be drilled in areas where rock is found 50 foot (15 m) to 100 foot (30 m) below ground without the need for actually drilling into rock.

  2. Tracy Rice says:

    United Air Temp purchased a Vermeer 7×11 Series directional drill, which reduces property damage and is less noisy than larger drill rigs.

  3. Because of their small earth loop size, DX systems can be installed in relatively small areas and in relatively shallow soil. This provides a flexibility of installation that is useful in allowing many properties to be served by geothermal that could not be served otherwise. A direct exchange system ground loop can be drilled with a small drill rig that can fit into small side yards and gardens under existing trees. It can be drilled in areas where rock is found 50 foot (15 m) to 100 foot (30 m) below ground without the need for actually drilling into rock.

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