Installing Geothermal Systems for Massachusetts Homes & Commercial Properties


Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC is a full service, geothermal heating and cooling company with the headquarters in Salem, MA. We can design and install complete ground source heat pump (GSHP)/geothermal systems that are sized specifically for your home or business based on industry recognized standards. Achieve is a WaterFurnace GeoPro Master Dealer providing the GSHP/Geothermal services in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Achieve’s staff are members of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) and are IGSHPA Accredited Installers. Achieve employs WaterFurnace Factory Trained Pipe Fusion Technicians and Factory Trained Service Technicians. Achieve is an authorized dealer for WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc. In 2013, WaterFurnace celebrated its 30th anniversary of providing quality geothermal heating and cooling products.

Services Achieve Renewable Energy Provides

  • Free telephone and/or home consultation
  • Design and installation
  • Service and maintenance packages
There are four main components to a geothermal system. These are:

Heat Exchanger (Earth Loop) – An underground system of pipe containing environmentally friendly anti-freeze that extracts or releases heat to the ground. Think of this as your ‘fuel’. Most of our installations are closed-loop geothermal systems but standing column well geothermal systems are popular if irrigation water is also desired.

Geothermal or Ground Source Heat Pump – A device that moves heat from the air to the Earth Loop during the summer and moves heat from the Earth Loop to the air during the winter. The heat pump takes the place of your fossil fuel furnace or boiler.

Heat or Air Conditioning Distribution System – Generally, heat is distributed through ducts or radiant tubing. Cool air is distributed through ducts. The distribution system is essentially the same as would be used with a fossil fuel system.

Hot Water Assist – A so-called ‘Desuperheater’ mechanism whereby excess heat generated by the heat pump can produce up to 40 to 60% of domestic hot water as a byproduct of equipment operation. Achieve also offers dedicated geothermal hot water heaters that can provide all your hot water.

A proper geothermal heat exchanger or ‘loop’ is critical to a well functioning geothermal system. Property or lot size usually dictates the geothermal system configuration (vertical or horizontal) that will be installed. The two major types of ground heat exchangers are ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’. Closed loop systems circulate an anti-freeze solution through a sealed (closed) circuit of piping. Open loop systems circulate groundwater from a well. There are advantages and disadvantages of each depending upon your circumstances. Achieve will advise you on which options are best for your installation.

GSHP/Geothermal Closed Loop — Circulates an anti-freeze solution through a system of high density polyethylene pipes.

There are three types of closed loops:

  • Vertical Closed-Loop– Pipes are placed in one or more borings installed with a drill rig to depths usually between 100 and 400 feet. Lots less than 1 acre in size are usually limited to vertical, closed loop installations.
  • Horizontal Closed-Loop– Pipes are placed into one or more trenches that are usually between 100 and 400 feet long. Horizontal closed loop installations are usually limited to lots greater than 1 acre in size with large contiguous tracts of land that can be easily accessed with a backhoe.
  • Pond Loop – Coiled pipe is placed along the bottom of the water body such that water flows around the pipe. Pond loops are usually limited to ponds or lakes that are privately owned and may be prohibited depending on local environmental regulations. Pond loops are uncommon in our service area.

Open Loop – Circulates well water or other source of water through polyethylene pipes returning the water back to the source or another specified location. The most common of these in our area are Standing Column Wells (SCW). The groundwater itself acts as a heat source or heat sink. SCW installations require a water well that is dedicated to geothermal use but can sometimes also support irrigation. The water wells typically are not used for potable water.

Size matters for both the geothermal loop and the equipment installed inside the building. In northern climates, geothermal systems are sized based on heating requirements. Design in southern climates is based on cooling needs. In general, equipment sizing is based on:

  • Size of the building
  • Building insulation and quality of construction
  • Quality and quantity of windows
  • Internal heat gains (appliances, machinery etc.)
  • Future expansion plans
The HVAC industry uses standard rating systems to compare different pieces of equipment. The equipment is tested under a standard set of conditions and the rating is published. Like mileage ratings for cars, your real-life conditions might vary from the standard test conditions (your mileage may vary) but the ratings are a fair yard stick to use. The WaterFurnace equipment we sell, particularly the Water Furnace 5 Series and WaterFurnace 7 Series have efficiencies that can’t be beat by other manufacturers.

Air Conditioning: EER vs. SEER
EER is the Energy Efficiency Ratio. EER is the cooling output divided by the total electric energy used by an air conditioner when the outdoor temperature is 95ºF.

SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER is the cooling output divided by the total electric energy used by an air conditioner when the outdoor temperature is 82ºF.

Both SEER and EER are included in the ENERGY STAR specification because each rating indicates the energy efficiency of the product under different operating modes. SEER rating more accurately reflects overall system efficiency on a seasonal basis and EER reflects the system’s energy efficiency at peak day operations.

Heating: COP
COP or Coefficient of Performance. This is a measure of the efficiency of a heating system. COP is the ratio of the amount of heat produced compared to the energy used. For example, an electric water heater has a COP of 1. This means it is 100% efficient – all the energy used heats water. A typical fossil fuel furnace will have an efficiency of 0.6 to 0.9 (60 to 90%). A geothermal system produces 3 to 5 times as much heat as the energy applied – 300% to 500% efficiency. The incredible efficiency of GSHP/geothermal systems is possible because they don’t make the heat – they move it into the house from the ground.

    A geothermal system might just be the greenest thing you can do. Heating and cooling your commercial or residential building is the largest energy use for the structure. Geothermal can put a big dent in your impact on the environment by making your heating and cooling renewable. Here are some things to consider:

  • Your heating and cooling carbon footprint for heating and cooling can be reduced by up to 75% by converting to geothermal from an oil or gas based system. Although oil or gas use is eliminated, the equipment operates on electricity and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is created in generating the electricity elsewhere. When combined with renewable electricity sources like wind or solar, your carbon footprint can be further reduced. It is possible to make your home or business a Zero Net Energy building.
  • Outside noise pollution is eliminated because there is no outdoor condenser.
  • Heat is discharged to the earth rather than to the air which decreases your contribution to the urban heat island effect
  • The underground components of the system contain no vinyl or chemical adhesives. The piping is made of high density polyethylene and all connections are made using heat fusion.
  • WaterFurnace units are CFC free and utilize ozone-safe R410A refrigerant that meets the most stringent EPA requirements.
  • Most WaterFurnace units are performance-certified to ARI ISO 13256-1 standards and are ETL safety listed, and are ENERGYSTAR® qualified. All WaterFurnace products meet or exceed ASHRAE 90.1 efficiency guidelines
  • Geothermal installations can contribute to the points required for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification. Up to 17 points may count towards LEED certification
    When you think about it, the benefits of geothermal heating and cooling are pretty compelling.

  • Tax incentives – Geothermal qualifies for a 30% federal tax credit and is exempt from sales tax in many states.
  • Lower operating costs – WaterFurnace estimates that annual heating and cooling costs can be decreased by up to 75%
  • Longer life – WaterFurnace geothermal systems can last twice as long as a fossil fuel furnace and three to four times as long as an air conditioner.
  • Enhanced comfort – Variable capacity and dual capacity compressors and ECM blowers eliminate blasts of hot or cold air and deliver a more even supply of warm or cool air
  • Quiet operation – There is no outdoor condenser and the air handlers are quieter than most forced hot air furnaces
  • Reliable operation – Most WaterFurnace units have a ten year warranty and an estimated twenty-four year service life
  • Smaller carbon footprint – Gas and oil use is eliminated
  • Improved air quality – humidity control, HEPA filters, heat recovery ventilators and air cleaners are available
  • No fossil fuels – Fossil fuel use is eliminated. So are the associated odors, vapors or dangerous gases

In May 2009, WaterFurnace International awarded Achieve Geopro Master Dealer Status. WaterFurnace gives the Geopro status to dealers that have the training, design and service capabilities, and sales volume necessary to set them apart. WaterFurnace says that its Geopro Master Dealers ‘have proven time and again that they truly care about customers like you.’ To learn more about our Geopro status, click here.

How Geothermal Works

Geothermal Heating Pumps – A Great Alternative Energy Source