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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southern NY
    Posts
    5

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    It is really not an issue. I add water to mine maybe once a year at the most. Check it in the fall and top it off if needed, that's it.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

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    >>>>Solenoid valve on the cold water line. Good for many years.<<<<

    Dang redneck, just wants to argue, that's all.

    They work fine as they are.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

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    Well dadgum it iddee, you didn't say they only gotta be filled once a year!!

    Asides, you asked me where my redneck guts was anyhow!

    Ya know though, that's what I do for a living. Make stuff work by itself, put it on your puter screen so you can see it work and override the control if that's what tickles your fancy. Sorry, I get it honest. Just ain't figured out how to make them stinking hives run themselves, harvest and extract whilst I watch the picture tube.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

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    I was leaning toward geo-thermal before this thread was started, but now I think I'm even more interested in it. These boiler systems seem to be a fair amount of maintenance not to mention the work and worry of finding and paying for wood. May be different if I had the land and wood. It's not readily available around here, not free anyway.

    I do have the room to put in the lines for a geo-thermal unit(s) without the cost of drilling. In the short term it would save me on power consumption because of the temperatures here. Winters are just cold enough that my heat pumps can't maintain the temperatures and need to be assisted by heat strips that cause the power meter to spin like a top. It would also make the move to solar panels even more attractive as they become more efficient and would be able to better able to handle the loads without the need to drive heat strips. And not to mention the maintenance and work that wouldn't come close to that of the boiler systems.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Clinton, Illinois
    Posts
    95

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    Well, I do have the land and the wood, but what I am running out of is my youth.

    It is not an attractive thought to be cutting, hauling, etc. all the wood to keep an outdoor boiler running during the winter. I am almost 52 now, do I really want to do this in 20 years? Sure, the exercise is good....but....

    I started this thread, but it seems like geo-thermal would be the best route. I was leaning that way anyway. However, I really don't know what it would cost to run here in the central IL winters.....guess I need to ask more questions.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,080

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    Geothermal is hard to beat, operation cost-wise. Think of it more like transferring Btus from the home to the earth during summer and retrieving them during cold months. A side benefit is 'free' hot water during the air conditioning months. This is from a simple device called a desuperheater that many geo systems come with from the factory. Vertical well application or trench if you have the room are used, with roughly 500 ft. of soil contact per ton needed. The vertical loops (wells) are nice, in that a number of them can be installed in a relativly small space. Installation costs of the loops is the one major hurdle to overcome. Once they loop field is installed, it lasts a long time, probably longer than the building itself does. The equpment typically lasts longer than standard heat pumps or A-C systems also.

    Again, don't forget thermal shell improvements. Make the structure so that it needs fewer Btu's. Make sure the right improvements are being done, so good money isn't being tossed at a solution with poor economics. An evaluation of the building needs to be done first, to establish what improvements are necessary. The improvements need to be done prior to installing any HVAC, because the heating/cooling loads are reduced. The result is often that the home needs smaller HVAC equipment, with an obviously lower installed cost. Then, reduceed operating costs are an on-going bonus following thermal improvements.

    We promote geo whenever possible for a number of the right reasons. You just can't get much 'greener' than when using the earth as your Btu bank.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

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    Quote Originally Posted by katmike View Post
    Well, I do have the land and the wood, but what I am running out of is my youth.

    It is not an attractive thought to be cutting, hauling, etc. all the wood to keep an outdoor boiler running during the winter. I am almost 52 now, do I really want to do this in 20 years? Sure, the exercise is good....but....

    I started this thread, but it seems like geo-thermal would be the best route. I was leaning that way anyway. However, I really don't know what it would cost to run here in the central IL winters.....guess I need to ask more questions.

    http://www.novageothermal.com/overview.html

    lots to learn out there:}:}


    JB:}
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

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    [quote=Bizzybee;367047]I was leaning toward geo-thermal before this thread was started, but now I think I'm even more interested in it. quote]

    In your area I would think that an "air to air" heat pump would
    be more than efficient enough. It is a lot less spendy than
    a ground source heat pump (geo thermal).

    Mine heat great even up here in the tundra down to about 25F
    and then the outlet air is "chilly". But at 30F and above the
    air is great. At 40F to 50F it is downright hot.

    If you already have central air switching to a heat pump
    is simple, and cheap.

    True geo thermal systems go way deeper than most
    home systems, at a very high cost. Home systems
    are going to be into 50F to 60F earth year round. In
    the south that makes them not a heck of a lot better
    than an air to air.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

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    They aren't as efficient as you may think here. Maybe from about Macon south they would be a lot better. But here in the foothills the temps from about now through February at nite are below 40 to 45 soon to be at, near or below freezing. The heat strips are going to start coming on below 40 and run very often at or below freezing. My power bill will run above $325 a month for the next 3 months and begin dropping in February or March. To a rate of about $125 a month until the temps are again above about 85 certainly above 90. Then the heat pumps will run continuously to cool the house again taking my bill back to around $300 a month. I'm running (2) 2-1/2 ton heat pumps, all electric service handling air for something between 2500-2800 sq ft.

    Having 50-60 degree water running through the pumps during the winter would prevent the strips from powering up and also reduce the runtime through spring and summer temps. By my estimates, I could reduce my cost by about $1200 a year in power just for heating and cooling. Any gain in heated hot water for inside use would just be icing on the top.

    I can easily install the field lines myself reducing the initial installation cost significantly. I have mucho plenty of experience in underground construction.

    Besides, I would like to build a nice big fishy pond while I have a backhoe on site.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post
    T My power bill will run above $325 a month for the next 3 months and begin dropping in February or March.
    When outside temps are 25F to 40F here my monthly electric
    bill (heat, hot water, hot tub, and lights) is about $85. Running
    only the air to air heat pump.

    In the cold stuff, -30F to 25F I run off peak electric baseboard
    heat and my highest electric bill last year was $145/month.

    But as to the fish pond,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, can't argue there.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

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    May be that Georgia Power is piping our power down here from your place and they are charging us for the pipe??

    Heck, I was happy to see the bill I got now after moving down here from Asheville!! I was paying that on Carolina Power & Light and we heated with oil up there.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Heat pumps (ground or air) are super efficient and
    cheap to heat with.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    I have a Central Boiler outdoor woodstove and love it. It cost $6500 installed, but paid for itself in four years(propane savings). Smoke isn't a big deal, and only when the draft is open. I use slab wood, so cost is less than $600 per year, including the electric to run it.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

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