Finehomebuilding needs a few pointers - who's up for that?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by sunnyflies, May 10, 2010.

  1. Looby

    Looby Member Forum Leader

    Very similar numbers here. 75% savings versus oil -- plus the priceless benefits
    of quiet, low-maintenance, odor-free, soot-free, extortion-free comfort.

  2. sunnyflies

    sunnyflies Member Forum Leader

    Please read the post more carefully.

    The $4000 savings was for the winter, not per month.

    My old house indeed leaks air and is not as well insulated as a modern house, although it is insulated with blown in rock-wool and some fiberglass. At 2400 sq ft, it's not large. We are working on tightening it up, but it will never be, nor should it be, as tight as a modern house. These houses were designed to breathe, sealing them up would just invite moisture problems and rot. It's stood 170 years so far, cared for properly it will last a lot longer. I can't say the same for another house I own which was built in 1970 and rebuilt many times, each time something rots out. Modern lumber is not the same quality at all.

    My fuel oil bills for the previous two years had been $4,499 and $5,721, respectively, for heat and hot water, but no air conditioning. And, that was with the furnace pounding away doing its best to try to keep us warm, but not always succeeding, even though I set it at 68. Yes, it was an old, inefficient oil furnace, but I can tell you that the high efficiency propane gas furnace, lent me by my wonderful installer to tide us over (after my oil furnace failed) until the loops went in and the geo unit was installed, could do no better on chilly days. The oil hot water heater was a high efficiency one, and there were just three of us using it, so it was not a guzzler.

    My electric bill for heating since the geo system started running about January 1st, has been about $1000 - and that included running on auxiliary coils alone a few days until the loops could be connected. We had a mild fall, which is usual for us. I can have flowers blooming until Thanksgiving. The coldest weather didn't begin until late December, but when it did, it did so with a vengeance. My new geo system handled the bulk of the worst winter weather - snow, sub-freezing temperatures, gales. It was a tough winter here. Subtract a thousand from the $5721 and I'm being conservative when I say I saved $4000, because probably it was more.

    My geothermal system purrs along in stage one and my house stays a warm and cosy 70º all the time. Rarely does it step up to stage 2, even in terrible weather with 50 MPH winds. Its uniform warmth is a luxury I never expected, especially as so many HVAC people had told me geothermal would not be able to heat my leaky antique house. Well, they were wrong.

    My installer, his crew and the even the drillers kept telling me how happy I was going to be with the exceptional warmth once the system was finished, I'd nod and smile back at them, but didn't really believe it. How lovely that they were right!

    It's also far quieter than either the oil or the gas furnaces were and it doesn't rattle the ducts around noisily as they did on starting up and shutting down, even though it is using the same ducts. One of the best things about the system is that I will never have to see or hear the oil delivery truck again! I used to dread finding its horrible big bill tucked into my door after it left.

    We are about to have a solar system installed in the next two weeks, which should reduce our heating cost yet again. And, wonder of all wonders ... thanks to my geothermal unit, I am going to have air conditioning for the first time this year!
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  3. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    Good for you, Sunny. I really enjoy reading your posts. Hopefully my Geo will be installed someday and I will enjoy it half as much as you do.

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