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Reducing our impact – exploring geothermal heat

My husband and I have been talking for a while about how to reduce our energy costs. This house is really expensive to heat in the winter and nearly impossible to cool. Solar gain is great on sunny days with our South facing windows which is both a blessing and a curse. Putting shades on them helped a little with the solar gain, but didn’t reduce the heating costs at all. And there are some windows that just plain won’t take a shade due to their shape and placement in the house.

So we stared looking elsewhere. First stop was solar. We figured if we could get a good enough amount of sun and put panels on the roof that we’d reduce our energy intake dramatically. If that worked, over time we’d convert everything to electric power reducing costs and impact even further. Unfortunately, that’s out because the roof is East/West facing and wouldn’t get the full day sun it would need to be efficient enough to power much more than a toaster.

So now we’re on to geothermal. Some of the units we saw included returns for hooking up to the hot water tank and reducing that cost as well. I haven’t fully researched how that works, if at all, with a tankless water heater, but the idea is pretty interesting. Why not use that extra heat even more? Makes sense to me.

So we have our first estimate set for Monday. No idea yet if this is something we can afford, or even do with the layout of our house. But we’re going to look into it just the same. Hopefully this is our key to reducing our natural gas usage.

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.

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saw an ad for geo thermal in Better Homes and Gardens and thought of you. Glad you're looking into this. Let us know how it goes. Obviously you'll pay close to 10% more than the estimate with sales tax. But you should be able to recoup 30% of the costs through tax benefits. So you should lob off 20% of any estimate when you look at this stuff. Plus - in the best case scenario - the systems are supposed to save you 80% of your current energy bill.

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