1. The Site - Locate all utilities. This will include your septic, water well if needed, location of the home, electric and gas lines. These things are important to know in order to properly design your loop field. If the lot is small, a vertical closed loop system is going to be your best option.
2. The Home - Insulation saves you money in a lot of ways. By having a good solid thermal barrier, it will allow for a smaller geothermal system design. It also keeps the energy you pay for in your home and provides you with a more comfortable living space.
3. The Builder - We work with any builder who is interested in going green. The key thing to planning a comfortable home is going to be the location of the geothermal unit. The closer to the center of the home the unit can be placed, the better the distribution and return will be. Long runs and sharp bends reduce air flow and increase static pressure. This forces the blower system to work harder than needed to deliver your warm/cold air to your living space.
4. The Costs - While a geothermal system may not be as flashy as a granite counter top or a steam shower, it is the only item in your home that will pay for itself over time. Energy costs are not factored into your mortgage but can have a very large impact on your spending. The up front cost of a geothermal system may sound high but it will put over $70,000.00 back into your pocket over the life of your 30 year mortgage.
5. The Costs, Part 2 - Look at the incremental increase of going to geothermal over a conventional system. There is a wide range of pricing available and when it is all said and done, these systems should not be more than 30-40% more than a conventional high efficiency furnace and a/c unit, after the 30% Federal Tax Credit. If the HVAC system for a 2000 square foot ranch style home is quoted at $12,000, your geothermal system should come in around $16,800, after the 30% credit. Your payback should be around 3-5 years in most cases, depending on fuel options and average use.
6. Vertical, Horizontal, Open Loop - There are a lot of options for you and your builder to consider when choosing to go with a geothermal system. Moravec Geothermal is the only geothermal company in the area that can provide a complete installation for all types of loops. Since 1934, we have been drilling water wells all over Central NY. This gives us the unique knowledge in terms of geology and borehole design that no one else has. Because of this knowledge and the fact that we have direct access to the machines needed to drill the bores, we can control pricing to your benefit.
7. Questions - Make sure to ask questions about everything from the Manual J load calcutions ( builder should provide ) to how the loop is going to be installed. The geothermal units are all very similiar in terms of performance while the loops that provide the energy for the system can vary greatly from contractor to contractor, location to location. That is why the loop is the most important part of the system. The second most important part is the distribution system. The units are designed to move more air than a conventional system. Duct systems must be sized accordingly.