I would like to share the story of my own geothermal system installation. After buying the house, the first thing we did was to install a geothermal heating and cooling system. It is a 1,740 square foot single family home.
The first step was to remove the 40 year old oil boiler, steam radiators, and 300 gallon oil tank – immediately. The boiler chimney was also removed making a perfect route for ductwork from the basement to the attic for the geothermal HVAC system. Because hot water was generated from the oil boiler, a new heat pump water heater was also installed. A Mass Save Heat Loan for $25,000 at 0% financing paid for a large portion of the installation cost. We also qualified for a 30% Federal Tax Credit for the geothermal system and a $300 Federal Tax Credit for the heat pump water heater.
As part of the geothermal permitting process, a Well Installation Permit was obtained from the Board of Health. The Director at the Board of Health was not familiar with geothermal but I was able to obtain the permit after providing the appropriate State issued Underground Injection Control Registration documents and offering to provide a tour of the geothermal system after it was installed.
There was absolutely no access for the geothermal drill rig from the front of the property due to a 5 foot tall retaining wall (To see more photos, please visit the photo album on our Facebook page).
The only way to access the yard with the geothermal drill rig was to get permission from the backyard neighbor to allow us to back the trucks across her side yard. In return, I promised to repair the previously damaged fence and plant some grass when through. The drilling took about 2 days. Excavation to bring the pipes into the basement took another day and a half. It took 2 months to get the grass to grow back due to an extremely hot summer.
The house required a complete ductwork installation. The house now has two heating and air conditioning zones whereby the main floor and upstairs each have their own thermostat.
The geothermal system has been operational since the middle of July 2013. It performs superbly through very hot and cold temperatures. We keep the house at 74F during the day and 72F at night during summer months. When using window air conditioners in the past, we would keep the house much warmer with only select rooms with air conditioning. In the winter we keep it at 64F while away and 67F while home. The system could easily achieve a warmer temperature but we’re frugal.
Geothermal electricity use has been tracked from July 2013 to April 2016 with a monitoring system purchased from Ground Energy Support. The previous owners of the house indicated that they would have about three oil tank fill ups per year on average. At $3.30 per gallon, that works out to approximately $2,500 per year on oil ($208 per month and no AC!). Our average geothermal operating costs have been between $60 and $70 per month and vary between $10 to $185. It is also fun to monitor electricity use and loop temperature in real time.
If you have any questions about geothermal installations in urban settings, I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Please contact me through the information request form found on this website. Thanks for reading!