Blogs > Tom Miller > July 2010

An Update on the Geothermal System

With almost two months of hot, humid Indiana weather since the geothermal system was installed, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Utility bills are going down and the comfort level in the home has improved dramatically.

In the past when the weather got into the mid-to-upper 80s, with the humidity not too far behind, we’d set the thermostat on 70 degrees, and be cool, but “clammy”. Now we set the main zone in the home at 75 degrees and the second (less used part of the home) on 77 degrees, and we’re totally comfortable, without the clammy feeling. That’s because the humidity is controlled via the Whirlpool dehumidifier to stay below 50% relative humidity.

I never realized that humidity could make such a difference in the comfort level of the home. And the unit’s HEPA filtration system has also made a noticeable difference in the indoor air quality…reducing the dust levels and making allergies much more tolerable.

It will be fun (and interesting) to begin tracking energy consumption – both gas and electricity – to see what kinds of savings we are generating. I’d like to get six-to-eight months of data before reporting on how we’re doing energy-wise.

In addition to getting the geothermal system working, we also finished the insulation project that was halted because of weather last fall. Tony Zinger of Wolfe Insulation was back to install 7 inches of open cell foam insulation in the floor of a cantilevered section of the home containing the kitchen, breakfast room and formal dining room. This was always the coldest part of the home in the winter because there was literally no insulation in the floor and it was exposed to ambient temperature because it cantilevered out over a hillside, exposing it to the elements on all sides.

The next step is to finish the landscaping, designed to be water self-sufficient and also to keep all precipitation on the property.

Posted: 7/6/2010 12:18:37 PM by Heather Wallace | with 1 comments

About Me

Tom Miller is not a building scientist, green guru or even a halfway decent DIYer. However, he is passionate about making a difference, ecologically speaking.

The purpose of Tom’s blog is to share experiences and observations from a homeowner’s perspective in the hopes that it will help building professionals spot unmet needs and dramatically increase the velocity of green building adoption across the country.




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