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GE Geospring

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by john193, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    I've been researching for a while now and I think I'm ready to add the GE hybrid water heater to further cut down on my use of oil.

    I wanted to gather some opinions from current users on the unit. What are your overall thoughts? Was it a worthy investment? What are your estimated savings? Any breakdowns?

    Thanks

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  2. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Lots of discussion in the Green Room if you search.

    The savings are real, and it appears most folks are happy with the water volume. Lots of discussion of some bad internet reviews here:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/geospring-bad-reviews.126616/#post-1709054
    but no members came forward with problems. I think it is a small fraction of folks that got lemons, out of a large number of customers that don't post reviews. It is also clear (IMO) there were a bunch of lemon units when the first geosprings came out a few years ago.

    The units do need some air >45-50°F to work, so location in a large conditioned or semi-conditioned space is important. They also make some noise, so you wouldn't want them in a living space with a louver door.

    I have an AOSmith 80gal HPWH, in my attached garage, that I like a lot after 2 years.

    I, like most users, cannot easily see the usage of the unit on my electric bill. If you are running dehumidifiers in the space now (like a basement) the HPWH might offset much of that and your HW is nearly 'free'. I think I am $15-20/mo with 2 teenage girls in the house. In most cases, they use less kWh on an annual basis that a typical solar DHW system costing 3-5x as much (because solar typically uses resistance backup for ~50% of needs).

    These are becoming a new standard technology (soon to be required by law when electric resistance HWH >=80 gallons are banned by the EPA). Expect to use 40% as much energy as a resistance tank. Almost like the difference between an incandescent bulb and a CFL.

    With oil, you need to know that you can shut down your boiler over the summer without it leaking. Getting rid of my boiler was the best thing I ever did for my house. The darn thing was more than doubling my AC bill in the summer. With the cheap elec in PA, I would use the HPWH year round.
  3. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the detailed write up. My search results were limited and I wasn't aware of the "green room." I'll catch up on my reading there.
  4. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Me too.

    The oil one, that is - and the oil tank that went with it.
  5. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    My intent was to turn off the boiler and let it sit. We heat with a pellet stove but the oil has always been our secondary or when we are away on vacation.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  7. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Got the geospring this weekend. 999 at lowes became 899 with 10% off. $400 rebate from my local utility and 5% cash back from discover should make for a sub 2 year ROI.
  8. AK13

    AK13 Member

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    Nice, I'm thinking about getting one on sale also. Do you happen to know how long the sale lasts?
  9. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Lowes is showing an expiration date of 4/23. But don't feel pressured to jump on it now. The unit goes on sale every few weeks. I'm sure it will be back on with the memorial weekend sales.
  10. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Here is a ppt presentation of heat pump water heater case studies. A good background listen.

  11. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    John, any cliff notes for that video? My internet is limited, and an hour of video would eat that up in a hurry. I have a Geospring sitting in my garage, waiting to be installed, but knowledge is power either way.
  12. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    The only way I can summarize the presentation would be to manually summarize it and i just dont have the time. However, if you havent read the advance energy study on the geospring i recommend giving it a read as it gets into real world testing. They conducted this test back in 2011, using the first generation geospring.

    http://www.advancedenergy.org/_files/pages/GE-Heat-Pump-Water-Heater.pdf
  13. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    That's great. I had already bought the Geospring because my propane WH is old and inefficient, and I wanted to cut propane as much as possible. Nice to see independent research verifying that the claims are true, and that it might even operate better.
  14. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    It's a good read. The take away is the unit is capable of the claims. However, and this point is more driven in the case studies, the efficiency of the unit varies with the ambient temperature. GE markets the efficiency rating at 2.35 and in the case studies they found anywhere from 1.0 to 3.0 to be the range. Aside from ambient temp, the efficiency rating is also affected by use and frequency of hot water draws. Large frequent draws forces the unit to activate the traditional heating elements in hybrid mode (the mode tested). They concluded that with large and frequent draws running on eheat mode (heat pump only) would result in lower output temperatures due to the longer recovery time of the HP. Obviously, your mileage will vary.

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