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new construction: geothermal VS air source hp VS conventional AC

13 years ago

we plan to build a home next year in south Louisiana. our builder suggests a closed-loop geothermal WaterFurnace unit, because of the 30% tax refund from Uncle Sam as well as higher energy efficiency over other system types.

We are not familiar with geothermal as most people in our area have conventional AC systems. We are concerned about possible future costs and problems associated with having part of the system buried in ground. The geothermal system also seems to be a much more complicated/elaborate system than conventional units.

we have not yet performed a J-calc on the house to compare size of unit needed, cost of purchase and install, monthly operation costs, maintenance, and future replacement for different system types. But we do know the following specs for the house... 2500 SF living. R-23 in walls (rockwool spray and alum backed styrofoam). R-50+ spray in attic. Top plates and sole plates will be calked. alum radiant barrier backed OSB on roof to keep attic cool. super efficient vinyl windows and fiber doors.

gets into the upper 90s/low 100s during summer and down into 30s/40s during winter.

all of this taken into consideration, what do you recommend?

1. closed-loop WaterFurnace geothermal heat pump

2. air source heat pump

3. 16+ SEER conventional AC/furnace

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