Shine Energy Systems Inc. Company Blog

Shine Energy Systems Inc. Company Blog

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Common Questions

These are the most common questions we are asked, followed by the most common complaints our industry faces (we are being honest and straightforward here):

  • Will it work where I live?
The short answer is Yes. Though if you lived on a houseboat or such it may be difficult...
  • How much will it cost?
This is difficult as it is like asking how much a car costs? Not that we don't want to tell you, but that there are many different types based on your needs. Remember, this includes both heating and cooling. Here is a brief idea (with all the appropriate caveats):
  • Vertical closed loop installation: $5-8,000 ton heating/cooling
  • Open loop/ horizontal closed-loop installation: $4-7,000 ton heating/cooling

  • How does it work?
There are lots of resources available on this. Please refer to the links page on our website: for some great resources (ie - impartial opinions).
  • Where can I get training?
There is a current push for Canadian regulations involving Canadian training through the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition. Previous training was under the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

  • What rules and regulations apply?
Building code permits are required for some of the work associated with geothermal (ducting, electrical, plumbing). Currently, in the City of Kamloops there are no permits required, but cities like Calgary have a geothermal permit requirement.


Note these are industry complaints and not complaints about Shine Energy.
  • Electricity bill is too high.
Heat pumps run off of electricity, so you would note a removal of your heating bill if you were previously gas and an increase in your electricity bill. In our design phase, we can show you what the overall savings will be. An improperly (oversized) designed system would not optimize pipe sizing/pumping requirements and could lead to the installation of unnecessarily large equipment that has larger power requirements than smaller, more efficient, equipment. Good design is required in these systems.
  • System doesn't keep our house warm.
This is almost always about poor design. Once the exterior loop is placed there is little that can be done in optimizing this and often what has been installed is not recorded or passed on as the house changes owners. I'm going to harp on GOOD DESIGN again. This includes heat loss/heat gain calculations and so on.

But don't be afraid to look at making sure your house is properly insulated. That is really the first step any homeowner should take before worrying about heating or cooling their house.
  • Equipment broke down.
Compressors can freeze, pumps can stop working, and so forth. The equipment we supply has an excellent warranty associated with it and more importantly, a good history of operation.
  • No contractor nearby.
Well, in the Interior of BC - that's where we come in.
  • Too many choices.
This means having to make decisions on open loop surface water, open loop groundwater, closed loop vertical, closed loop horizontal, and hybrid systems (solar/geothermal). To use the car analogy again - there are many choices. It is important your designer/installer work with you so a strong recommendation can be made that works best for you and your site.
  • Too many stories.
Some will say you must have a certain type of system or that you should never use a certain design. There really are a lot of stories, but keep in mind the persons experience and their motivation. There are many unbiased sources of information out there such as Natural Resources Canada.

One story you may hear when building a new home could come from your general contractor or developer. They may not encourage you to use GHPs. The reason; they are unfamiliar with these systems and very familiar with the conventional systems. Due to the nature of the business, they have a low risk tolerance and prefer to stick to their standard HVAC contractors. The contractors don't have time to learn about the GHPs. The important thing to remember, it is your home and your choice. Seek information elsewhere if you can't get it from them.

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