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Old 04-02-10, 03:10 AM   #1
patentcad
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It's Over

The 2009/2010 Heating Season I mean. We used about 850 gallons. That's down from 1100 last winter (colder winter), 1500+ in previous winters, thanks to our Green Mt. Doom program with the new Energy Kinetics way efficient boiler and the Armstrong heat pump. We didn't have that heat pump last winter, I think it knocked down the heating oil another 20% or so.

That's not a lot of heating oil for a 4200 sf house. So I think we're getting our money's worth from this new gear. The last thing we could do (short of going geothermal) is spray foam insulation in the attic, but that would cost $4K and would only save another 150-200 gallons tops. Not worth that cost for the incremental savings. But that would bring us down into the 600-700 gallon range.

A full (upstairs two zones, basement still on baseboard from the old boiler) geothermal system would have dropped us down to 300-400 gallons (we'd still have used the boiler for hot water and to heat the basement zone where my office is located). So I think we're essentially there. 400+ gallons more than we'd use with a full geothermal conversion, @ half the capital outlay ($20K vs. $40K). Even @ $4 per gallon, that's only a difference each year of about $1500 in heating costs between this set up and geothermal

For new construction or a major renovation, geothermal is a total no-brainer. Fascinating technology, and it works. Harnesses the 50 air temps underground to run heat pumps that are indoors to heat and cool your house very efficiently. Once you're using 50 air, the SEER ratings of heat pumps start going up over 20 (our current air to air heat pump has a SEER rating of 15 or 16) and they don't use so much power.

Last edited by patentcad; 04-02-10 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 04-02-10, 03:15 AM   #2
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sir, i believe that you're lost.

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Old 04-02-10, 03:15 AM   #3
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Oops, this was supposed to be in foo, mods please move it.
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Old 04-02-10, 03:16 AM   #4
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sir, i believe that you're lost.

Sorry, you are correct.
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Old 04-02-10, 03:17 AM   #5
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It is keeping my bicycles warmer. There. Road cycling content.
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Old 04-02-10, 03:30 AM   #6
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I still put the heat on in the morning
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Old 04-02-10, 04:40 AM   #7
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We had by far the longest, coldest, and wettest winter of the 14 I've lived through South Carolina.
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Old 04-02-10, 04:46 AM   #8
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I don't think it's over.
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Old 04-02-10, 04:50 AM   #9
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Are there even mods on this board anymore?
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Old 04-02-10, 04:50 AM   #10
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we're doing a remodel now on a new house we bought (new only to us). Thought about geo-thermal, but as the new house is at 4800 feet elevation on the top of a mountain, there was no way to lay out a geo system, so vertical was the only option. any idea how expensive it is to go geothermal with the lines laid out vertically? Prohibitively.

we went with a hybrid gas-heat pump. should work well up there. all new insulated windows, blown in insulation, etc. Possibly a home wind turbine later as the winds up there can be tremendous, but are usually very consistent. solar is also an option, but for now with a complete gut job, I just want to get it done and move in. Add ons will have to wait.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:03 AM   #11
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im glad that all this makes sense to you
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Old 04-02-10, 05:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
The 2009/2010 Heating Season I mean. We used about 850 gallons. That's down from 1100 last winter (colder winter), 1500+ in previous winters, thanks to our Green Mt. Doom program with the new Energy Kinetics way efficient boiler and the Armstrong heat pump. We didn't have that heat pump last winter, I think it knocked down the heating oil another 20% or so.

That's not a lot of heating oil for a 4200 sf house. So I think we're getting our money's worth from this new gear. The last thing we could do (short of going geothermal) is spray foam insulation in the attic, but that would cost $4K and would only save another 150-200 gallons tops. Not worth that cost for the incremental savings. But that would bring us down into the 600-700 gallon range.

A full (upstairs two zones, basement still on baseboard from the old boiler) geothermal system would have dropped us down to 300-400 gallons (we'd still have used the boiler for hot water and to heat the basement zone where my office is located). So I think we're essentially there. 400+ gallons more than we'd use with a full geothermal conversion, @ half the capital outlay ($20K vs. $40K). Even @ $4 per gallon, that's only a difference each year of about $1500 in heating costs between this set up and geothermal

For new construction or a major renovation, geothermal is a total no-brainer. Fascinating technology, and it works. Harnesses the 50 air temps underground to run heat pumps that are indoors to heat and cool your house very efficiently. Once you're using 50 air, the SEER ratings of heat pumps start going up over 20 (our current air to air heat pump has a SEER rating of 15 or 16) and they don't use so much power.
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we're doing a remodel now on a new house we bought (new only to us). Thought about geo-thermal, but as the new house is at 4800 feet elevation on the top of a mountain, there was no way to lay out a geo system, so vertical was the only option. any idea how expensive it is to go geothermal with the lines laid out vertically? Prohibitively.

we went with a hybrid gas-heat pump. should work well up there. all new insulated windows, blown in insulation, etc. Possibly a home wind turbine later as the winds up there can be tremendous, but are usually very consistent. solar is also an option, but for now with a complete gut job, I just want to get it done and move in. Add ons will have to wait.
The geothermal system we priced was vertical drilled holes (like wells), and the cost was too high for our application, but I would do it on new construction. I didn't get the impression the horizontal method would have been all that much cheaper, maybe 10-15%.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:18 AM   #13
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fortunately for me this year the price of natural gas dropped significantly. despite consuming more ft3 of gas, i paid less for it. and that cost me $0 in upgrades.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:23 AM   #14
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it is kinda weird right now to look outside and still see snow in the woods in places, yet it's supposed to be in the 70's today...

Oh, and drilling on the mountain tops here involves mostly going through rock, that's why the expense, but yeah, it was just not in the budget for this remodel.


by the way, there are home DIY "kits" for blown in insulation, both the foam and the stuff you can buy in bulk at Lowe's or Home depot. Big savings if you DIY. with your square footage though, it would still be expensive.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:31 AM   #15
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It's early, not all of the mods have had their morning coffee yet.

// welcome to Foo!
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Old 04-02-10, 05:31 AM   #16
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It's early, not all of the mods have had their morning coffee yet.

// welcome to Foo!
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Old 04-02-10, 05:54 AM   #17
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I've seen them on several DIY, etc. shows and they certainly are interesting. I could not use them, my house sits on roughly 3 feet of fill then solid bedrock but I have radiant heat throughout and a very efficient gas fired boiler. My highest heating bill this winter was just over $150.00 and that includes hot water and cooking...I keep the main thermostat at 68f, bedroom at 65f and downstairs family room, guest room and son's room at 66f. Our house is also smaller than P's at a modest 2800 sq feet. I love radiant heat.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:10 AM   #18
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I had to turn the AC on Wednesday night. It's that funny time of year in Texas where you might run the heat and AC in the same week.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:28 AM   #19
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I had to turn the AC on Wednesday night. It's that funny time of year in Texas where you might run the heat and AC in the same day.
fify. What was it, 2 weeks ago we went from 70 one afternoon to the low 30's the next morning?
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Old 04-02-10, 07:18 AM   #20
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Had to kick up the furnace this am as the morning temps are still hovering around freezing but by this afternoon I will be throwing open the windows (again).

My winter gas bill averaged about $150.00 a month but I split that with the downstairs tenant... this includes heat, hot water, and cooking as it is all gas.

If I was to build or buy another home it would be geothermal and sub t with a little solar as I have a goal of getting off the grid at some point.
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Old 04-02-10, 08:41 AM   #21
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Am glad that we don't pay for heating in my apartment. We had that heater cranked so many times this winter...
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Old 04-02-10, 08:46 AM   #22
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Been sleeping with windows open the last few nights.

PCad, when did Apple start marketing the iWarm?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:24 AM   #23
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FYI, for anyone thinking of going air sourced heat pumps,there is a heat pump system out there that is efficent down to -30 in either F or C http://www.gotohallowell.com/
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Old 04-02-10, 10:45 AM   #24
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FYI, for anyone thinking of going air sourced heat pumps,there is a heat pump system out there that is efficent down to -30 in either F or C http://www.gotohallowell.com/
Looked into them. Double the cost of the heat pump we installed.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:55 AM   #25
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I had to turn the AC on Wednesday night. It's that funny time of year in Texas where you might run the heat and AC in the same week.
You might benefit from some additional thermal mass to moderate temperature swings like that.
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