Do It Yourself Home Geothermal Project
My name is Rick Faszold and this is my web site. I would like to share with you my Do It Yourself Home Geothermal project. I realize that there are a ton of Geo sites out on the net; but, with this one I tried to document as many things as I could so that you get a fuller grasp of what it takes to get one of these going. My goal was to bring this under $10,000.
If you plan on doing your own project, this might save you some investigative time, allow you to ask vendors more directed questions and help you avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I am not an expert on any portion of this field. This field covers things like: thermal conductivity, soil, fluid viscosity, electricity, duct work, pumps, heat pumps, etc… If you see something here that you may find useful, check it out for yourself to make sure it is right for you.
Where necessary, I hired contractors to complete portions of the job that I did not feel comfortable with. This includes unit installation, a ventilation system upgrade and a new electrical sub-panel. I will share the expenses that went into this project along with real energy bills and the subsequent energy savings. There are plenty of pictures on this site.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of your e-mails are really great.
A Quick Summary
After running this system since October 2008 (4.5 years or 5 winters), I paid for the system and my electric bill went down about 3.5%.
Summer electrical usage (June, July, August) went down about 28%.
Since the Geo system was much more powerful (much more comfortable) than the old air conditioner, a good comparison is tough to do.
If the Geo unit and the old A/C unit were matched better, I think the savings would have been 35%-40%.
Winter electrical usage (December, January, February) went up about 65%.
Why did the winter electrical usage go up so high?
Before Geo, I was just running a small fan motor to blow heat around the house and burning a lot of propane for the heat.
Now, I am running pumps and the Geo unit as the heater.
Since I no longer use propane, the entire heating system is the Geo unit running electricity.
This puts a LOT more load on the electrical system and eats up a lot more elctricity than just a blower fan.
Although electrical usage went sky high for the winter, this is where all of my savings are coming from.
I've traded $2,200 of propane costs ... for ...electrical usage that went up 65% for only 3 months. (I'll take that.)
Also, since the summer causes electrical usage to go down, it takes the edge off of the winter usage.
Last Updated: July 23rd, 2013 I am working on a Solarthermal system! Details to come...