Ron & Diana Walker

We built our retirement dream home in 2015; after much research & thorough investigation of HVAC (heating, ventilation, & cooling) technologies, we opted to build our new custom home around geothermal for HVAC.  After nearly 2 years to reflect upon the virtually countless decisions with which we were faced in the 13-month+ process of construction, we rate our decision to go with geothermal as the very best of the myriad of decisions.  Mark Chadwell, former Project Manager, and Tracey Gandy, former Service Manager of Smith and Associates, now owners of Geo Pros of Knoxville, were our sub-contractor for this segment of our home. Choosing them as our HVAC contractor was indeed another wise decision. They are consummate professionals with a combined 40 years experience working with geothermal. They were an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the process from initial design through follow-on support after installation.  In the design phase, Mark and Tracey made recommendations for us to consider that would allow them to install a smaller sized Waterfurnace (thus costing less $$$) while paying dividends over the life of the installed system and enhancing overall system performance. After thorough cost/benefit analysis with our General Contractor, we elected to pursue every recommendation made. The cost of implementing these recommendations was directly offset by the lower cost of a smaller Waterfurnace. We’ve been reaping the benefits of having implemented those recommendations ever since. Although the common perception of geothermal is that it is more costly and complex; our personal experience does not reflect that.  We thoroughly evaluated geothermal against solar, conventional HVAC, and hybrid/dual-fuel systems.  Although upfront costs in new construction are on par with hybrid systems, once Federal tax breaks and lower monthly utility bills over the system’s life are factored into the analysis, going with geothermal became a “no-brainer”.  We anticipated a 6½-7 year payback period on upfront investment; however, our personal experience is that the payback period will likely be half that projected.  Our peak seasonal utility bills have been about $200/month for a 6,000 SF, two-level house!  Once you learn to most efficiently use your geothermal system by “setting it and forgetting it”, we predict you too will be surprised by the results.  We predict that in the next decade, especially in new construction where the greatest return is to be realized as you can build from the ground up around geothermal, the vast majority of new heating and cooling systems will be based upon geothermal; this is especially true when one has sufficient property to install direct burial, closed loop distribution systems (one of the 3 methods for installing geothermal).  Choosing Geo Pros of Knoxville is another “no-brainer” as they have vast experience and are the consummate geothermal professionals in our area.