Finding a Geothermal / Geoexchange Contractor
The GeoExchange Consortium's website lists contractors who install Geothermal Ground Loop Systems. It has a feature that lets you search by state. Several contractors were listed in our area.
It is important to note that some geothermal contractors will often state that they install geoexchange systems but are actually using that as a way to try and sell you a traditional system. While we did not have this problem, it is something to be aware of.
The most useful advice I can give you is ask for a list of references from the contractor and call each one before signing anything. I found that the people I called were glad to share their experiences and it made me much more comfortable with the whole process.
Things to ask the references:
- Quality of the system (comfort, etc.)
- Did they stay on budget?
- Did they finish on time?
- How was communication with the contractor?
- How were any follow-up problems handled?
- Would you use this contractor again?
In general, you will have to work with two contractors. In our case, we signed a contract with the main contractor, who would be installing the geothermal heat pump, and a separate contract with the drillers. The main contractor recommended a driller who they routinely work with. So while there were two separate contracts, things worked fairly seamlessly in our case.
Be aware you can negotiate the price with your contractor. If you prefer a contractor but their price comes in higher than the competition you can ask them to revise their bid. Most contractors appreciate this opportunity rather than just being crossed off your list.
Contractor Checklist—It's a good idea to:
- Check at least three references.
- Find your contractor though a respected source (e.g. geoexchange.org).
- Get more than one bid.
- Check license and insurance information.
- Meet with the contractor and have your home evaluated.
- Get a detailed, itemized estimate.
- Ask about necessary permits and how long they usually take to obtain.
Other helpful links:
Search Google for terms like "tips for finding a contractor", "choosing a contractor", or "questions to ask a contractor".
Contractors we used: