Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Going Geothermal: Day Nine

Our system is up and working!

Going Geothermal: Day Nine

Our system is up and working!

The plumbers came yesterday and hooked up the last of the connections.

The lawn is still a mess — the drilling company hasn’t finished the clean-up work. They were going to come yesterday, but they had to order a part for the Bobcat, now sitting in our yard.

They came today to install the part, but then left.

So, maybe tomorrow for the raking and grass seed and hay.

Meanwhile, I spent all evening trying to guess when the system was on. No more roar and shudder of the oil burner as it ignites! Just a gentle whoosh from the air vents.

One thing I hadn’t realized: We’re supposed to keep the temperature more or less constant. If there’s more than a three-degree difference between the temperature in our home and the temperature we want it to be, the inefficient heat coil kicks in. So we don’t want to do that!

But ... with our old oil furnace, we kept the temperature at 67 morning and evening, then put it down to 60 in the daytime and 55 at night, sleeping under a feather quilt.

Last night, we kept the heat at 67 and I woke up hot and dry-mouthed.

So tonight we’ll try a new tactic — reduce the temperature from 67 to 64 at night, and keep both the bedroom door and the air vent closed. It sounds crazy to crack a window, but we might do that, too.

Any suggestions from others with geothermal?

With all the monetary savings we expect from greater efficiency, we nevertheless lost a tiny financial edge today. I called PECO to cancel our participation in the Smart A/C program, which pays $20 a month for four months in the summer if you let them attach a device to your air-conditioner so they can cycle it on and off during hot afternoons when electricity demands are highest.

So, no $80 this year.

I’m keeping track of all this!

 

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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