Landscaping and Geothermal HVAC system

tcmravens(z7 MD)June 6, 2007

This may be a dumb question but I will ask anyway. I have a geothermal HVAC system in my new house. It uses a horizontal (slinky) loop for heat exchange. The loop is buried about 6-8 ft in the ground and it covers most of the front yard. Does anyone know of any landscaping restrictions for the area where the loop is buried? Specifically, trees and/or shrubs that may have invasive roots. Thanks.

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I doubt there is a problem considering its so deep and there are no openings in that system where roots can cause trouble but I would ask a expert in that field. Call an installer and see what he says. I would like to hear the answer just for curiosities sake.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 8:24AM
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With the geo thermal down 6 feet or more you should have no problem for over 20 years with roots. By the way - I am building a new house and considering geo thermal - how is it working for you?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:20PM
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tcmravens(z7 MD)

Our geothermal is great. My house is about 5000 sq ft and my electric bill averaged about $220 per month. I calculate that we have about a 40% saving on the cost epr sq ft to heat and cool the house. Its more expensive to install but if you plan to stay in the house a while you will get it back in relatively short period.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Hi, I'm trying to find a certified Geothermal designer/builder in the area. I'm in Ellicott City, 21043. What contractor did you use and would you recommend them?


    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 12:52PM
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tcmravens(z7 MD)

I used a company called Total Energy Concepts in Harford County, MD. Ask for Terry and tell him that I (Tony in Street, MD) referred his company to you. The system continues to perform well.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 6:18PM
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What brand system do you have ? Are you still pleased with it? I am looking into them now and would appreciate any info. In my area they are wildly expensive - think twice yours.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 12:00PM
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We were considering replacing our creaky old heat pump with a geothermal system - even with the high initial investment - until we began having ginormous problems with roots in our old terra cotta sewer line. The twenty-year wait for roots may be a good prediction for new plantings but with oak trees as old as our 120-year-old house, I wasn't willing to take the risk of adding 3,000 more linear feet of water-filled pipe. My fears may be dismissed by one of you smart guys as overly-cautious, but I have better peace of mind with a new high-SEER heat pump. Having said that, I still love the idea of geothermal HVAC.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:27PM
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We are going to be totally remodeling a house we just bought and are very interested in geothermal heating/cooling. We are in central NJ. Would be interested in getting some recommendations of companies that service our area.

Also, would it be possible to find out approximately how much you paid for your system and about how many square feet your house is.

From what we have been reading, there is a HUGE price difference in what some people have paid - from $28,000 to over $80,000! There just should not be such a difference....

Lastly, we read that the system can take care of about 80% of the heating needs. What temp can be maintained in the house and can it be regulated?

Would really appreciate hearing from some of you that have a system and might know some of these answers.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:25AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

vvl, you might consider also posting this in the Mid-Atlantic Gardening forum:
and in the Heating & Airconditioning forum of the sister site, That Home Forum:

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:40AM
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I would like to gain some information on these types of systems as well so I an start offering these types of services. Ive always been very interested in this stuff and as a AC tech I should pick up on it quick.

Here is a link that might be useful: MiamiCooling

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 3:36PM
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We have a geothermal heating and cooling system and it was installed last year. I live in Maryland and the price of a typical system is around $24,000. Fortunately we took advantage of the 30% federal geothermal tax credit and that reduced the effective price by $7,200 to $16,800. Then we got a Maryland geothermal heat pump grant for $2,000 and a $2,500 property tax credit from Anne Arundel County which brought the price down to $12,300. We're saving about 40% on our utility bills now which makes the upfront price worth it.

In terms of planting around your loop field, from what we've read, don't plant trees like poplars, willows, silver maples or elms around the piping as these types of trees have deep root systems that can wrap around pipes. Luckily the geothermal piping isn't prone to cracking and has a 55 year plus lifespan. We used Earth River Geothermal to install our system and we're glad to have made the switch sooner than later. Check out this link for relevant information. Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Here is a link that might be useful: Geothermal Heat Pumps

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 4:24AM
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Michael, good many tons is your system?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Our company installs geothermal systems with great success all throughout Western New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
We perform NYS Energy Audits, and House Sizing.
We install closed-loop (pond, earth) and open-loop (well) systems.
For more information or to request a quote visit our website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Domestic Energy Resources

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 2:35PM
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