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FAQs

Why Geothermal


Why Should I buy my system from Evergreen Geothermal?

Evergreen Geothermal is Maine's premiere Geothemal systems provider. In fact, it's the only thing we do. We do our own engineering. We are State of Maine Licensed drillers, and install our equipment and systems precisely, following the manufacture's instructions exactly. We have invested heavily in training and equipment, and have many years of experience in all types of Geothermal systems.

We are one stop shopping for Geothermal, we will provide you with a quote quickly, stick to the price, and guarantee our work. You are welcome to tour one of our expert installations, and we have the references to go with them. 

We know a lot about Geothermal, and as importantly, a lot about engineering heating and cooling systems overall. 

As we handle the entire project, we can guarantee our results, we can also guarantee that in the unlikely event that you have a problem with your system, we will fix it for you.


Will my home be as warm as it was with a furnace?

Absolutely, in fact, our customers report that the heat is very even throughout, and due to the reasonable cost they can keep their homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. 

 

Are the systems complicated to run?

Not at all. They are controlled by a thermostat, and act just like any other type of heating and air conditioning system. You may find them quieter than what you are used to, and you may find that they don't dry the air as much, for a more pleasant breathing experience. 

 

CAN YOU CONVERT MY EXISTING HOME?

Yes, all homes can be converted. We can convert baseboard systems, radiator systems, radiant floor systems and forced air systems. Frequently the best solution is to install air ducts which will supply heating and air conditioning, but we can also convert baseboard heat systems to work very well with Geothermal heat pumps. Call us for a quote.

 

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I HAVE TO INVEST?

Many of our systems ,  after tax credits and incentives frequently end up costing less than   $25,000 installed !

Geothermal is affordable.

A typical  home (3000 sf) will cost in the $40,000-50,000 range.   This includes heating, air conditioning, dehumidification,  options such a humidifiers, electronic UV air cleaners, multiple thermostat zones, fresh air exchanger/HRV units, and central bath/shower fan systems.

WiFi remote thermostats are pretty popular with our customers as well.  These allow control of the home climate system via a smartphone, and will send alerts to your e-mail if there is a problem with your home.

Incentives from the state and federal government often bring the final cost of a $45k system down  to  $26,500.00.

Your quote will depend on the size and sophistication of your system. We will come to your site and give you a quote. In general, the best economic value is the smallest practical system. 

 

HOW MUCH WILL MY ELECTRIC BILL GO UP?

Your electric bill will go up by about 30 - 35% of what your former oil or propane bill was. In other words, it will decrease your total energy expense by about 65 - 70%. (Find out how our Geothermal Heat Systems worked for the Davis', Click Here)

 

WILL YOUR SYSTEMS MAKE DOMESTIC HOT WATER?

Yes, and they will cut your hot water cost by about 50 %. 

 

WHAT TYPES OF HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS WORK WITH GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMPS?

Forced Air Type Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems

Central air type systems are our main stay, as they provide so much value They are very easy to install in new construction and existing homes. These type systems offer great value as they both heat and cool, and can condition the air for humidity, allergens, and odor control.

They are very fast to respond to thermostat setting changes, and are very efficient They also air condition, at no extra cost, as a bonus.

We can put air registers in floors, ceilings, walls and the toe kick areas of kitchen cabinets.

Modern forced air systems are well engineered and very quiet. They move a high volume of low speed warm air, at a constant 90 degrees. Unlike the forced air system we grew up with, there is no “ cold blow” of air, followed by the furnace lighting, and a blast of hot dry “ desert “air.

That said we can use supplemental heat, together with the heat pump, to raise the air temperature output from the ducts to as high as 130f, when very cold conditions call for it. This is especially nice in a vacation home that is set back to 50f when unoccupied. The high temperature air will run until the temperature reaches the new set point, then shut off unless needed. This is a fantastic comfort option when you get to your ski lodge late Friday night! We can also set your system up so that it can be run remotely, by smart phone or computer. It's pretty handy to call your vacation home and warm the house up ahead of time. ..

Our duct systems are designed to meet IECC standards for insulation and sealing, and are built to ACCA “Manual D” standards. We use large air conditioning sized ducts rather than furnace sized. Zoning is easy, and there are dampers on all vents so the system can be adjusted. All our duct plans are drawn using CAD software, and our duct work is built from those plans. 

AIR CONDITIONING AND ALLERGY RELIEF OFFERED BY CENTRAL AIR SYSTEMS

Better indoor Air Quality is why YOU NEED Air Conditioning. “I don't need air conditioning, I live in Maine.” used to be a popular refrain. “It's only hot for a couple of weeks!” Yes but, it's getting hotter every summer and it's quite humid from May until September at least. We also have a tremendous amount of tree, grass, and ragweed pollen here in Maine. How often have you had to use your washer and wipers to clean it from your windshield to see to drive?

The reason you need it is comfort, allergy relief, humidity control, and a good night's sleep. All of these conditions greatly affect how we feel. Humidity and allergy symptoms have a way of making people feel wiped out and tired for much of the allergy season. Keeping the bedroom windows closed and running a well engineered, quiet air conditioning system is one great way to a great night's sleep. Many of our customers allergy symptoms are much better if they keep the windows closed for the entire allergy season, and control the home's humidity with air conditioning.


Here are a few of the air quality options we sell to go along with our Geothermal and standard air conditioning systems

Humidifiers

Our systems usually come with a steam humidifier, it fills itself automatically. It is controlled by a humidistat. As it injects steam into the airflow, it has no water to collect and grow mold. These units provide definite health benefits, humidity in the air in winter goes a long way to staving off colds and flu, by keeping the air moist.

Enhanced Air Filters

All of the home's air flows through a standard air filter that screens out most of the particles in the air. Deluxe high capacity allergy control filters are available to very high MERV values. Merv 8 is standard. Merv 11 is available in most sizes. 

Electronic Air Cleaners

These control odors with special ionizing coatings on UV light bulbs that kill bacteria.

Fresh Air Exchange Systems

These are integrated into the system, and provide the home with a small, constantly filtered amount of fresh air, and discharge a portion of the home's air outside. They don't waste heat because they have heat recovery ventilators (HRV). These are very popular in new, tightly sealed homes. 

Ductless Geothermal Systems

Another type of air system is the low cost, fast payback, ductless console style heating and air conditioning geothermal heat pump. This design is a great solution for older buildings.

This is one of our unique specialties.

HOT WATER RADIANT SYSTEMS

These systems use a water to water style heat pump. They can also supply air conditioning.

There are two basic styles of hot water based systems:

1. Geothermal and radiant floors.

Radiant floors and Geothermal go together well, temperatures are very steady and the floors are slightly warm.

The “gold standard” for radiant floors and geothermal is the” poured in slab” type, with an engineered laminate or tile finish. Track type tube on top of the floor will work but is less effective, stapled up from underneath is even less effective at getting heat out. Sometimes, to convert this type of radiant floor to Geothermal, we need to add radiators, or toe kick type hydronic heaters. This is because Geothermal hot water from this style heat pump becomes much more efficient the lower the water temperature is set.

Most radiant floors that are run on a boiler can be converted to Geothermal.

2. Baseboard and Radiators

Baseboard systems can also be converted to Geothermal by changing the baseboard to a similar style baseboard, with more pipe and fins in it. There are many radiant panels and modern style radiators designed to use the low temperature water. These can be added or converted as necessary. Towel warmer style radiators can be combined with radiant floors as well. Many homes with multi zone baseboard hot water are a pretty easy conversion, costing somewhere in the $40,000 range, including drilling, heat pumps, installation etc.

Long Term Value.

Now you know you can save about 65 – 75% of your current heating bill, increase your home's value, replace an old system with a modern, long life, low maintenance one, and provide peace of mind with low, predictable energy costs using Geothermal energy. That's long term value!

 

How do most of your customers pay for these systems?

Most of our customers use home equity loans to pay for them. It is a cost efficient use of home equity as it adds value to your home, and saves money every year.

 

Why do you prefer to install “ Closed Loop systems?”

They are the best value for many reasons;

A closed loop system does not need to rely on a steady supply of good quality groundwater.

Closed systems will function in any kind of geological formation, therefore hitting water when drilling is not vital, or even desired. This removes a lot of the uncertainty, and potential expense, when drilling. We can always quote you a firm fixed price for the drilling and entire system.

Our systems are exactly engineered from the building's heat loads, and the depth of the well and style of heat exchanger are exactly computer modeled. 

In addition, once a system is installed, it gets filled with a clean supply of water/antifreeze that will recirculate for years, with no contamination from silt, sand or minerals that you could get from a well-based system. This results in less scaling and contamination in the heat pumps and far greater reliability.

Furthermore, with a closed system, the circulator pumps can be significantly smaller, typically 1/6 HP, rather than the 1.5 to 3 HP constant pressure well pumps required with water well systems. This reduces the initial investment, and the energy consumption of the system.

The circulator pumps, also called “Flowcenters” are located in the basement or mechanical room, and are easily serviced. Open well water system pumps are large, and are located many hundreds of feet down the well. They require a steady supply of groundwater, and when they fail, service is expensive, and the home is usually without domestic water and heat. Not a recipe for domestic bliss!

 

Why is your system smaller and less expensive than that of your competitors?

Most of the contractors that install Geothermal systems are not exclusively Geothermal providers. They do not calculate their own heat loads, drill their own holes, install their own loops, or engineer their own entire systems. For this reason, systems tend to be sized much larger than needed, in a “ Bigger is Better” kind of philosophy. This is an old energy economy approach. With heating and air conditioning, “ too big” is bad. Units will “ short cycle” and wear out more quickly. Oversized heat pumps will not dehumidify the air well when coling, and will not run enough on colder days to keep temperatures consistent. The driller doesn't want to provide too short a hole, so he adds some for security, the wholesaler would rather sell a bigger heat pump, and the costs add up. Everyone is happy except the customer, who is stuck paying more for less performance. Oversized systems waste money in two ways. They are more expensive to install and less efficient to run. 

Our systems are precisely engineered, using ASHRAE standard temperatures, heat loads are calculated using ACCA “ Manual J ” procedures, and our ground loop/vertical bores are designed per IGSHPA industry procedures. Our duct work is designed as per ACCA “Manual D” standards, and our systems are installed to meet the new IECC standards for energy efficiency. Our heat pumps are installed exactly as per the manufacturer's instructions. Bore depths and ground temperatures, antifreeze flow rates, radiant floor design, duct design and system sizing are all interrelated, and the contractor needs to get all of these correctly sized for the system to function well. Research shows that up to 17% of systems are incorrectly installed. Oversizing is an even more common problem. 

A well engineered and sized Geothermal heat pump will run almost all the time when temperatures are low. 

We have installed many systems, and have invested in “data logging “ computer systems which we have installed on many of our systems, and verified their performance. This is very important to us, as we really can not afford to build a system that does not function as designed. For this reason, we can be very confident that we are providing the correct size closed loop heat exchanger to match the building's heat load. Because we control every aspect of our installations, we can be very confident that we can select and install a system that will satisfy you. We have a long and ever growing list of satisfied customers, and we are happy to provide references. Most of our

customers are happy to let you visit their homes if you desire.

 

Can these systems be installed in winter?

No problem. Call us and set up a consultation.

 

What is the expected lifespan of these systems?

The heat pumps all carry 10 year warrantys from the manufacturer; expected life is more than 20 years. They are basically refrigeration systems, consider how long a refrigerator runs with no maintenance.

 

Do they require regular maintenance?

There is no regular maintenance required, other than an air filter change. This is another cost savings.

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