A 30 something year young couple was seeking to be “Green” when remodeling their newly purchased home in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  We will call them A&J.  J holds down a high level position at Google, where Google’s actions of embracing the green movement with LEED influenced building, recycling, solar and solar recharged hybrid cars as well as geothermal heating of water for a cafeteria and going “Green” resonates with him.

geothermal unit with earth loop coil-resized-600One of the things they wanted to do was couple the swimming pool to the HVAC Heat Pump (a heat pump is a special air conditioner that can run backwards and forwards.  This means it can heat or cool a building).  They researched this technology and found Cold Craft, Inc. a leader in geothermal HVAC system installations and this couple was aware that Cold Craft is also experienced with “Special Systems” like this.  Cold Craft, Inc. had also installed two Geo Thermal Domestic Water Preheating Systems at a Mountain View Google Building.

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Cold Craft, Inc. did the design work and installed the HVAC system at A&J’s home.  This customized system consists of the following:

  • Earthlinked Brand Geothermal Heat Pump
  • Special designed ‘Pool to refrigerant’ heat exchanger
  • Lennox 96% Efficient, 2 Stage, Variable Speed Furnace (that operates at half the electrical cost of a standard fan, increased comfort and quieter operation)
  • Customized control panel to integrate the HVAC system and the pool pump

This home has propane heating as do many of the homes in the Los Gatos Mountains.  If you are not using propane, you may not be aware that it is very expensive.

The system that was installed uses electricity mainly to move the air in the home, however it does have a variable speed fan motor for improved energy efficiency, comfort plus sound reduction and the heat pump provides cooling to the home.  This part of the system uses electricity and the heat pump is to provide heating to the home when the pool water is above 45°F.

This system will switch over to propane as the heating fuel whenever the winter weather is extremely cold.  This type of arrangement is called Duel Fuel.

Cold Craft stays in touch with this couple for improved customer experience and because we want to collect more data in from propane areas such as the Los Gatos Mountains where having this set up is advantageous.  As we get regular updates it has reported to us that the pool has stayed above the change-over point.  The plan for the next stage is to install new solar panels on the roof of the home to heat the pool.  They also have plans to install PV Solar Panel in the future.

By combining a Solar Electric System and the Swimming Pool Heat Storage System, this home will be one of the “Greenest” around.  When the heat pump is coupled with the swimming pool, the system becomes classified as a “Geothermal” System and that being the case the installation of this system on an existing owner occupied residence it qualifies for the 30% Federal Tax Credit. As always check with your tax professional since some restrictions apply.

The geothermal system at this address was installed and running for three (3) months at the time that this blog was written.  Cold Craft’s goal is to provide updates so we can provide an ingoing conversation on our blog in the future.

Green Equipment Options (GEO) Inc. in Campbell, CA was the Equipment Supplier and a resource for this project.



If you need help with temperature, contact Cold Craft, Inc.

408.374.7292 or [email protected]

By Published On: September 25, 2014

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