Where to Start
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The first place to start is for you to become informed.
That will help you to ask the right questions. That will give you realistic expectations. That will help you to understand your system. You will do that by reviewing the resources on this site as well as those of our Preferred Contractors.
Then, the most important aspect of having a geothermal system installed is finding a qualified contractor. How do you do that? Again, visit our Preferred Contractors page and let them know that you found them through us.
The members of the Wisconsin Geothermal Association agree to adhere to a Code of Ethics, so I personally think that the WGA is a great place to start your search! The Code of Ethics sets the foundation of integrity that the rest of the process can be built upon. It is as follows:
I will be just and fair to all customers.
I will be forthright in my communications and will clearly state all contract terms and warranties in writing.
I will strive to fulfill all promises for delivery, installations, warranties and servicing.
I will conduct myself in a professional manner at all times, avoiding any unjust criticism of the association or its members.
I will strive to improve my operations and be willing to consider new technologies and methods to provide the greatest possible benefit to the customer.
I will place benefit to the customer before profit, having the integrity to decline a job, which will do an injustice to the customer, my profession or myself.
I will make every effort to promptly adjust any cause of dissatisfaction.
I understand my peers may require binding arbitration of any consumer complaint to maintain my membership in the Association.
Remember, I do not install geothermal systems at all! I construct the vertical loopfield as is necessary. This next point is very important:
Many people who read this will benefit from putting in horizontal systems instead of vertical. For some people, an open loop system is perfect for them. Others will best be served with a pond loop.
That means that I will essentially nothing to do with the job unless you wish to call and ask me questions. I welcome that. My role here is to help educate you and help you make informed decisions that lead you to choosing a contractor that will install a geothermal system that will be the best system for you and that you will love!
Some of those systems will need vertical loopfields. Then I am available to assist you.
I want your job to be done right. I want you to be happy and satisfied with your geothermal system. That is why I Maintain a Preferred Contractor Page.
Staying with the resources that we provide at the Wisconsin Geothermal Association, a really great place to start is to download their "How to Choose a Quality Geothermal Contractor" sheet. It is free and will help you to ask the right questions.
Your heating professional will do a heat calculation on your home and use a computerized program to properly size your geothermal system.
A system that is too small will not heat as effectively as you need. A system that is too big will not be efficient either. It will cost more to install and more to operate than necessary. Bigger is not better, unless it is needed. Right is better.
Beware of the ads that offer things like, "Upgrade to a second circulation pump" or some such ploy to gain your attention. You need a second circulation pump only if you need one. Either you do or you do not "NEED" it to maintain the volume to achieve turbulant flow in your ground loops. If you do not NEED a second pump, for instance, you are simply wasting your money on a pump that you do not need and wasting electricity to operate it. If you were on the edge of NEEDING" one, I would expect any of the professionals in my Preferred Contractors Page to simply discuss the options with you and give you the best recommendation.
The goal is to use as little energy as possible in order to get the job done.