Thursday, February 26, 2015

Going geothermal: Finished, but a conundrum remains

The lawn is seeded; the thermostat remains a question

Going geothermal: Finished, but a conundrum remains

A portion of the lawn that´s been reseeded.
A portion of the lawn that's been reseeded.

It’s raining now, and I’m delighted.

Yesterday, guys with the drilling company raked out the dirt over nearly 900 feet of trenching, spread grass seed and covered it with straw and hay.

With this rain, perhaps we’ll get some good lawn growth before winter arrives and halts the process. I’d like for the grass to have a chance to get ahead of the weeds!

But I’m still puzzling over the thermostat.

To recap: The experts at the heat-pump company tell us that it’s best to keep the thermostat at a constant temperature, day and night.

We’re used to keeping it at 67 morning and evening, and 55 at night.

But if we do that now, with the new equipment, an inefficient heat coil will come on in the morning to warm the house faster. We’ve asked if we could somehow turn off or disable the coil and simply let the house heat up more slowly, but we’re told that’s not possible.

For now, we’ve closed off the vent to the bedroom and keep the door closed so the heat from the rest of the house won’t come in. But isn’t that a little crazy?

So the question remains: Is it more energy-efficient to keep the thermostat at 67, or to keep it lower at night and then let the coil come on in the morning?

When I said in a previous post that I woke up hot and dry-mouthed, a reader suggested a humidifier. I’m not interested in another electric device. I’m interested in turning the thermostat down!

So, we’ll see. Any folks out there with geothermal want to weigh in?


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

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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