What You Need to Know When Replacing a Direct Exchange (DX) System
Replacing your DX geothermal system is a significant decision. We would like to share how you can ensure a successful and informed decision. It’s essential to evaluate a few key factors. Our team has vast experience replacing many direct exchange Geothermal brands over the past 30 years, brands like ECR Technologies, Earthlinked Technologies, Advanced Geothermal ( The Great Aire Comfort System ), and US Power ground source direct exchange (GSDX) units. These brands can usually re-use the existing copper DX ground loop and simply replace the the compressor assembly & indoor air handler portion of the system to upgrade to the latest Waterless®️ DX geothermal technology. There are several common questions, and a few key things you’ll want to consider when doing this. They are:
- Is there anyone I can consult with if my contractor doesn’t understand my system?
- Is my existing copper loop compatible with the new system?
- Is it necessary to replace the air handler?
- How does the new DX geothermal technology compare to the old DX geothermal technology?
- How does the efficiency of a DX geothermal system compared to a cold climate air source heat pump?
- How do the federal tax credits compare for a geothermal system to an air source heat pump?
- Will I get a new warranty if I purchase a new DX geothermal system?
Is there anyone I can consult with if my contractor doesn’t understand my system?
Total Green Mfg, the manufacturer of the Waterless®️ geothermal system, is here to help you with your decision on whether or not it makes sense to replace your old DX geothermal with another DX geothermal system or to replace it with an air source heat pump. The last thing we want as a manufacturer is to attach a new piece of our equipment to an existing loop field that will not result into a satisfied client. If that means directing you to purchasing a technology other than a direct exchange geothermal system to ensure you will be satisfied, that’s exactly what we will do. If your contractor needs help diagnosing your direct exchange geothermal system to determine if you truly need a new system, we can help.
Retrofit application checklist:
To streamline the process, we have created a checklist for a contractor to confirm that your existing copper ground loop is compatible with a new Waterless®️ DX geothermal unit. This list includes information such as, unit size, ground loop diameters, lengths, installation patterns and technical information. Our experts at the factory will review the data collected from your home to assess your existing installation and determine if it makes sense to replace your system with a new one.
Is my existing copper loop compatible with the new system?
A Waterless®️ geothermal system should only be installed on compatible loop fields. It is important not to overlook the value of your existing copper ground loop. The team at Total Green Mfg can assist you and your contractor to ensure compatibility and an efficient operation while minimizing any potential issues from occurring in the future.
If your existing loop field is compatible with a Waterless®️, we will even make recommendations that could improve your systems performance. If there is any uncertainty about the performance of your existing copper ground loop, our geothermal specialist can perform a loop performance evaluation which allows us to assess your effectiveness of your existing copper ground loop. We can also identify any underlying concerns that could prevent your new system from achieving optimal performance.
Is it necessary to replace the air handler?
The indoor air handler and coil has specifically been selected based on air flow and surface area. Reduced air flows and/or coil surface area’s can significantly reduce the new system’s capacity and efficiency. When replacing your direct exchange compressor unit, it is also critical to replace the old air handler with the new “matched” air handler specified by the manufacturer. This ensures compatibility, optimal performance, and eligibility for the federal tax credit for your new geothermal system.
How does the new DX geothermal technology compare to the old DX geothermal technology?
Re-connecting your existing direct exchange copper ground loop to the latest DX geothermal technology can result in owning the most energy efficient geothermal heat pump on the market. The latest direct exchange geothermal technology is the Waterless®️ geothermal technology. Waterless®️technology offers higher capacities, higher efficiencies, better oil return, more system safety’s, and better reliability than other DX geothermal designs. Click here to learn more about other improvements and advancements made by the Waterless®️ design over other older DX geothermal designs.
How does the efficiency of a DX geothermal system compare to a cold climate air source heat pump?
The key difference between a geothermal heat pump and an air source heat pump is a geothermal system utilizes the constant 50°F to 55°F ground temperature to both heat and cool your home, while an air source heat pump uses the fluctuating outside air temperatures to heat and cool your home.
With an air source heat pump, heating and cooling output is dependent on the outdoor air temperature so the output capacities will vary vastly from one season to another. For instance, in the winter months, the heat output is at its lowest output (at the time when you need the most heat). This drop in heating capacity also results in being more dependent on an expensive back up heat system, lower air temperatures, and less comfort. This begins a chain reaction by eliminating many benefits that an air source heat pump (ASHP) can not maintain during extreme temperatures conditions.
Extremely cold temperatures cause a drop in the efficiency of an ASHP, directly costing a homeowner more to operate the system and reducing the system savings. However since a geothermal system has warmer source temperatures (50° to 55° ground) than an ASHP system, a geothermal system avoids the pitfalls that occur in an air source heat pump.
How do the federal tax credit compare for a geothermal system to an air source heat pump? .
In 2022 the US government passed the Inflation Reduction Act and established a list of federal tax credits for eligible energy efficient products. Geothermal heat pumps and air source heat pumps were included in this legislation. However, the amount of the tax credit for these two different technologies were very different. In short, the tax credit for a geothermal system can be be up to 30% of the cost of a geothermal unit with no limit to the dollar amount of the tax credit. While an air source heat pump also includes a 30% tax credit with a limit of $2000 for the installation of an air source heat pump.
We believe that making informed decisions leads to the best results. So, let us guide you through the replacement process to ensure a smooth and satisfying transition to Waterless®️ geothermal. Our geothermal experts can help ensure your system is delivering the greatest comfort and savings. Reach out to us today, and together, we’ll create the perfect geothermal solution for your home.