Detailed Geothermal Analysis in Cincinnati, Ohio

by filip 19. June 2014 02:49

The following numbers are all in kWh, and for my single-family house that is about 2,000 square feet, plus basement. All heating is electric. My electric bills usually come in around the 17th to 20th of the month. In the data below, an October value is actually the usage from the second half of September to the first half of October. 

The data is current as of 5/24/2017. I'll try to update this monthly.

kWh Usage Details, Monthly

Below is a breakdown of my monthly electric usage since late 2007. The gray cells is my usage when using an inefficient air-source heat pump (probably 10 or 11 SEER). The green cells is my usage since installing a geothermal heat pump.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2007                     1,613 4,572
2008 5,053 5,676 4,644 2,815 1,404 1,325 1,235 863 1,358 962 1,517 3,764
2009 4,700 3,495 3,170 2,724 920 836 1,354 1,347 1,497 1,410 1,788 3,119
2010 5,836 5,462 3,127 1,625 1,032 1,390 1,197 1,651 1,445 1,315 1,517 4,697
2011 6,144 5,035 3,768 2,585 1,702 1,568 1,641 1,643 1,536 1,065 1,496 2,345
2012 3,028 3,663 2,922 1,637 1,422 1,358 1,800 1,485 1,523 1,317 1,683 2,695
2013 2,870 3,515 2,544 1,800 1,100 1,179 1,381 1,256 1,836 942 1,476 3,182
2014 4,416 5,750 3,226 1,488 1,193 1,331 1,408 1,294 1,467 1,088 1,441 2,427
2015 3,071 2,674 2,659 1,617 1,190 1,297 1,491 1,509 1,526 1,203 1,227 1,836
2016 2,825 2,610 1,538 1,598 972 1,191 1,494 1,775 1,369 1,220 1,151 2,755
2017 3,936 2,015 1,825 1,245 1,080              

kWh Usage, Monthly Average

Here is a summary of the above table. The grey cells is the average, per month, of the grey cells from the table above, and the green cells are the average, per month, of the green cells above.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Air 4,578 4,656 3,343 2,096 1,263 1,276 1,435 1,363 1,523 1,169 1,580 3,304
Geo 3,277 2,433 2,007 1,487 1,109 1,273 1,464 1,526 1,454 1,170 1,273 2,339

In the summer months I'm obviously not really saving any (significant) money, even when compared to the 20-year old, inefficient air source heat pump. I never did use much electric (for cooling) in the summer months though.

Based on the "Monthly Average" data above, I'm saving about 6,379 kWh per year. At my current electric rate of about $0.10 per kWh (it varies slightly month-to-month), the yearly savings from upgrading to geothermal is $637.91. This translates to a 23.5% savings per year over my previous electric bills.

When I purchased my geothermal unit, my existing heat pump was broken. I received various estimates for replacement - the average of which was around $8,500. The final cost of the geothermal heat pump from Arronco came out to be around $13,500 after tax credits and rebates. If I assume that a new air source heat pump would have similar performance to my old air source heat pump (which probably is not a good assumption), the return on investment would be roughly 8 years. However, since a new air source heat pump should be more efficient than my old air source heat pump, I'm guessing that a more realistic ROI would be closer to 10 years.



Arronco Geothermal Installation in Cincinnati Part 2

by filip 23. April 2014 02:42

This is a follow-up article to my initial article about my geothermal installation.

For the past couple days, Arronco was finishing up their geothermal installation in my house. The first day was spent on removing my existing unit as well as setting up the Byrant geothermal unit (GT-PB). The second day was spent on finishing up the GT-PB install, hooking up the tubes that run outside to the unit, attaching my water heater to the geothermal unit, and finally setting up my thermostat.

The first set of pictures is some of the work outside of the house.







And here it is with all of the work complete:







Too see how this has affected my electric usage click here



My Arronco Geothermal Installation in Cincinnati

by filip 18. April 2014 17:19

It was time for me to replace my heat pump, and I got a few bids from local companies. I ended up setting on a geothermal system from Arronco.

They came out yesterday to drill the wells where the tubes will go. The first thing to show up was the tubing, delivered by a local delivery company.

Geothermal tubes. Each is about 510 feet long.

After that the Arronco geothermal truck showed up.

Arronco Geothermal Truck

The guys put down some rubber mats on the lawn so that the tires don’t damage the yard too much. It still ended up tearing up my yard, but I don’t really see how they could do it any other way. They also had very little space to work with as it had to fit between the driveway and the electric box in front of the house. The weight of that truck would have probably cracked my driveway.

Path for Geothermal Truck

Once everything was set up, they got the truck in.

Parked Geothermal Truck from frontParked Geothermal Truck from back

Once the truck was in place, they put the big digging arm up and started digging the first of two holes. Each hole was to be 225’ deep.


The entire process is very loud, a kind of messy (although a lot less messy than I thought it would be). Here are some more photos of the entire process. The white stuff is ground up limestone that started coming up once they got like 30’ below ground.





After they left, I was left with the following in my yard. They’ll be coming over on Monday to install the unit inside, and on Wednesday to dig the trench that will connect the tubing to the inside.


The rest of my installation!



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About Filip Stanek

Death Note Pic I'm a developer at ACG in Cincinnati, OH. I like ASP.NET, Flash, and other web technologies, & enjoy playing chess, video games, etc.

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