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GSHP problems, newborn in the house

whnh | Posted in General Questions on

I purchased a house earlier this year with a pre-existing open loop geothermal well hooked up to two climate, master tranquility, heat pumps, one for each floor.

The units date back to 2008 and they were not in great shape when I bought the house. The heat exchanger on one needed to be cleaned out and there was some evidence of installation problems like joints that were soldered instead of braized. Yesterday we brought our newborn home from the hospital at the same time the first cold snap started and one of the two heat pumps is not maintaining temperature. The temperature in the house is manageable right now, but I do not think it is going to be a working solution for the winter here in New England. My HVAC tech believes that there are several points that may be leaking refrigerant. It seems that our options are:

-Empty the refrigerant and refill, try to find any leaks. This will be pricey at almost $2000 and no real guarantee that it will hold up over the long term.
-Replace the heat pump and likely the air handler as well. Obviously going to be very expensive. I’m not sure if any incentives would be available given that we already have a heat pump system.
-Live with it as is and rely frequently on the back up electric heaters. I am assuming this will be very expensive to operate regularly.

I am desperately trying to figure out what to do here as the weather gets colder had any advice would be much appreciated. Given that the investment in the geothermal well pre-dated us in the wall itself seems to be working OK, it seems like it is worth investing to keep that system working, even if it means replacing the heat pump, but I’m sure there’s a price point on which point I would just give up and put a furnace in or something else 

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  1. kyle_r | | #1

    Do you have a home warranty?

  2. paul_wiedefeld | | #2

    I'd go with "-Empty the refrigerant and refill, try to find any leaks. This will be pricey at almost $2000 and no real guarantee that it will hold up over the long term.".

    All of this should be indoors, making it easy enough to work on.

    If that doesn't work, an air source heat pump is the next best option.

  3. nynick | | #3

    You don't have much choice. You need to find out if and where the system leaks. If the units are shot and the well lines are ok, a long term investment on new heat pumps would be the way to go. It sounds like you knew they wouldn't last that long anyway.

    Going with a new furnace after you already have the wells drilled would be a shame.

    BTW, I'd absolutely claim the 30% Tax Credit.

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