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Opinions/Thoughts/Experience needed

Steve Ebels
Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
I'm pondering a job right now and I've got this wild idea of running the low temp floor heat with a geothermal unit. I'm wondering if anyone of you guys has ever attempted this and what the results were. I think the water temps produced by a geo unit would be sufficient for radiant floor although my experience with them is limited. I'd like to find some valid (non manufacturer generated) numbers that I could use to compare between a high efficiency boiler such as a Vitodens and a two stage geothermal unit. Anyone have those in your collection?

Just trying to think outside the box here. Don't have a clue if this will work or be economical to do.


  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    I installed one years ago and it is still working great.
    It was a water to water open loop unit. It is heating about 3500 Sq Ft of basement with Wirsbo tubing
  • Glenn Harrison
    Glenn Harrison Member Posts: 405
    I have a customer...

    that we put in two water to water units. One is a 3 ton and the other a 5 ton. They both heat the floor for the basement and do bathroom floor warming on the first floor. The main thing to watch out for is you can only run about 120º max water out of the unit, so you have to layout your tubing to compensate for the lower temps. Otherwise this system runs great, and he has no complaints about his electric bill.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    wrapping up a 2600 sq ft two story all radiant with water to water geo. I've had great support from the geo mfr- Water Energy.

    My water supply design temps are in the 118 degree range for this one..Quicktrac panels (over 800 of 'em) will make it.

    I've seen and heard of people trying staple up and in every case it didn't work..too high temps required..

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Paul Rohrs_2
    Paul Rohrs_2 Member Posts: 171
    Geo Thermal

    I am working on my first project and it is 15,000 sqft. The State of NE is interested and it is turning out to be "mildly" high profile. What are the delta T's you operate off of? My geothermal supplier is indicating a 10° delta t. We are using heat exchangers and I am concerned about flow rates through the unit. (30 ton)

    It will be an interesting project. Buffer tanks a must.
    I will follow this thread to see if there are other suggestions.

  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
    Talk to me

    About actual real life operating costs. Also what is the comfort level with a water to air geo blowing through ductwork. I can't imagine it would be very "scorched" air.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Recently read a posting a www.oldhousejournal.com concerning heating/cooling multi-floor homes.

    Many with traditional air units on BOTH floors find that the lower A/C unit runs much less in the summer with opposite in the winter. Some say that they actually turn off the upper unit in the winter and lower unit in the summer. They especially claim comfort problems in the winter--particularly with extreme temperature stratification.

    I have seen numerous old homes around here with A/C units installed only on the upper floor and they do seem comfortable.

    THEN, a person with a water-air geo system wrote (separate units on each floor). While she said that she missed the comfort and coziness of the radiators in her old house, she said the upper and lower systems seemed to run MUCH more equally in the winter with MUCH lower temperature stratification.

  • Doug Wagoner
    Doug Wagoner Member Posts: 78
    Water source heat pump

    Steve, I did a Florida Heat pump (water to air) for my brother about 17 years back. He built on the shore of N.C. and pumped shallow well water thru the exchanger. His bills never exceeded $100.00/month year round. No one believed him even when they had three feet if snow his bill was only $99 for that month. I suspect the difference was in the insulation and sealing job he did himself. two story, 2600 ft floor area. I tried to get him to use a closed loop for I feared the exchanger would be fouled quickly with the brackish water but it is still running and the present occupants are very happy. He moved inland to Raleigh and bought a house that has two air to air heat pumps and moans about the bills constantly. But I think the main difference is the construction quality.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,856
    I have one

    installed. going on it's 3rd season. Hydro Temp built the unit exactly for this job. The basement slab is radiant, forced air upstairs, with radiant bathroom floors. It also handles the AC up and down. I used a 50 gallon buffer tank, an electric wuth the elements left in for backup.

    The utility had a rebate program, and installed a seperate electric meter next to the unit to track useage, for rebate purposes.

    The hardest part was probably the excavating contractor that did the trenches. He hit lots of shelf rock and spent lots of time, and backhoe wear, getting it in.

    My only complaint was the amount of noise the thing makes. Much, much more noise than a boiler. Keep that in mind when locating the unit inside.

    Lots of shaking going on!

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904

    or scroll compressors?
  • Cosmo
    Cosmo Member Posts: 159
    You betcha

    Per homeowner's request I installed a system using water to air a/c units and I was dissapointed in the amount of noise that the console units made. But the homeowner got used to the noise......
This discussion has been closed.