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Geothermal heat pumps are becoming popular among homeowners for their limited-maintenance construction and ability to lower utilities. If you currently have a geothermal heat pump or are considering adding one to your home, use these five steps to ensure your system remains in good shape.

#1 Professional installation. It’s important to find a trustworthy HVAC company to install your system. Interior hardware is similar to standard heat pump configurations in that it requires ductwork, and air handlers that cost as much at $1,000+. The location and setup of your outdoor components will depend on the configuration of your yard. Also, it’s important that your heat pump matches the size of your house. Underpowered models will experience additional wear, while overpowered models will cost more to install and can increase your utility bills.

#2 Check Your Antifreeze. The antifreeze in your underground piping will ensure that your home is adequately heated or cooled. Have a pro check your antifreeze levels during other routine maintenance projects.

#3 Clean Your Air ducts. Dirty or damaged air ducts will cause your heat pump to work overtime, costing you more money and making it difficult to heat or cool your house. Before you install your geothermal heat pump, ask your pro to inspect your ducts for blockage, holes or other leak-causing culprits.

#4 Eliminate Debris. Dirt and excessive dust can damage your geothermal heat pump. Have your pro clean any mechanical parts during routine maintenance or installation.

#5 Check Antifreeze levels. Most geothermal piping comes in two varieties: high-density plastic and copper. These pipes run underground and normally don’t require maintenance. But it’s not a bad idea to check on their condition once every several years. If you’re having other work done on your system, schedule a quick pipe inspection as well.

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2 Comments

  1. Angie Buice, April 17:

    We have had a Florida Heat Pump open loop system that has been nothing but a money pit!! Enormous power bills, replaced water pump 2-3 times, compressor 2 times, air handler and numerous other parts, every year having to refill Freon and nobody could find a leak, over flow sensor failed filling ceiling with water, drip pan full of rust. These problems started 3 weeks after installation. We asked installer to have their engineer come assess the unit. He passed away and we were left with the continued problems. Our power bills have never been below $275 for a 1900 sq ft house. Now the unit has lost power and we are told they don’t make parts to repair the unit! We even had to install a window u it because it never cooled room over garage! Every request over the years for manufacturing to be accountable has fallen upon deaf ears!

  2. JD, August 15:

    Have a 2 ton Command Aire geothermal heat pump installed in 1988. Compressor and reversing valve lasted 24 years before replacement. Orig. thermostat lasted 31 years. Circ. pump and the pressurized flow center are 31 years old and to be replaced and 1st system flush in Aug. 2019. No loop problems – ever. A bit of freon added this spring – 1st time ever due to unusual $180 utility bill on an 2300 sq. ft ALL electric 31 year old home during 31 degree and lower winter temps.
    Seen a bunch of Command Aire owners reporting quarter century and older units still in service. They were bought out and name abandoned. You could always see if you can find deceased installers liability insurer – see if anyone bought the company – see if FHP has any product liability insurance AND keep written dated documentation of every issue, repair and contact. FHP has been purchased by a larger company – contact them and company Board of Directors. Be loud and relentless – see if there are enough of you for a class action suit. A properly installed quality brand Geo HP can function (and should) to provide low cost for a very long time. Mine does those all that.
    Maybe the takeaway is to buy a top brand that worries about the credibility of their name. Buyers – check brand ratings and look at Geothermal HP forums to see if any brands gather similar complaints. Call and get referrals on installers – even great brands fail if installer is crap.

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