Heating/Cooling Research


Old 02-04-03, 12:43 PM
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Heating/Cooling Research

I am in the process of purchasing an old farmhouse in Eastern Kansas. The temps for this area range from 0-10 in the winter and 90-100 in the summer on extreme days. The house currently has no central heat or cooling. Heat comes from gas "stoves" in certain rooms, so there is no ductwork and no heat at all on the second story. It is a 2 story house w/ approx. 800-850 sq ft on the main floor.

I am looking into all options for heating and cooling and would like to get input as well as un-biased reference websites for my research.

We initially were sold on the idea of geothermal, but after reading some older posts on this sight....I am not sure if the savings that are advertised will be achieved to re-coup the high installation costs.

I fully intend on getting bids from contractors, but would like some good information going into any meetings with them, so that I can ask intelligent questions to get the answers that I need. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you need more specific information. Thanks!
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Old 02-04-03, 12:48 PM
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I failed to mention that the gas heaters are natural gas and not propane. I do not know what the cost of that gas is, but wanted to note that it isn't propane.
Old 02-04-03, 12:51 PM
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my 2 cents worth

Old, as in turn of the century? [1800's to 1900's] 50 years old? My suggestion is that you first look into window/insulation upgrades. Without that, your operating costs will be outrageous no matter what type system you choose.
Old 02-04-03, 01:40 PM
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You were correct in old as in "turn of the century". The house has vinyl siding and some insulation was added around the outside at that time and is tighter than the house that I currently live in. Not sure about the windows, but surely not the newest and most insulated on the market.

I am not as concerned with windows at this time as the best windows and insulation will not heat and cool a house. Although I do understand your point, I can't afford to do it all at once and will have to find other ways to deal with drafty windows.
Old 02-04-03, 02:04 PM
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You have lot to look at here for heat and cool. does the home have a basement that a furnace can go in??? On the first floor how high are the ceilings could they run duct there. Is there room for the furnace to go some where there on the first floor. Is there a flue in the home or do you have to put a new one in?? You dont say what your kwh there is for the elec. Id look into the cost there over gas . You can put in a heatpump with the gas furnace as the back up .For now Id stay away from the geothermal as far as pay back .Also the top seer units out dont look so good as for as pay back goes ED
Old 02-05-03, 06:12 AM
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The home has an old cellar under half of it.....I don't think there there is any existing chimney or flue. The height of the existing celing is rather low, but by the looks of it, this may be an added on, false ceiling....I'll have to investigate further on that. There is an attic above the second story if that helps.

Calculating costs from my bill in my current house, including all extra fees (not just the cost per unit of power), I currently pay about $.085 per kwh for electric and a little over $7 per thousand for gas.

Let me know if you would like to see any other information. I am not as concerned about initial installation costs, as I am about the monthly utility bills....would rather pay a little more up front for efficiency if I can re-coup costs over the next 5-10 years.

Again, if someone knows of a webpage that has any case studies for different types of units, I would be very interested in checking those out.

Thanks again for the replies!
Old 02-05-03, 05:42 PM
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Here is a cute little fuel cost comparator:


In my opinion, a forced air furnace with ductwork would be the best way to go.

Possibly an air/air heat pump with gas or electric auxiliary heat.
Old 02-07-03, 01:26 PM
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geosource heat pump

Revisit the grothermal option! I just installed a 6-ton hydronic system one year ago. So far, I am completely satisfied. The initial cost is a stumbling block, but the "payoff" is also measured in livability. I did the installation myself and saved a lot of $$, but beware! If its not done right, you are hosed. The system must be balanced.
Old 02-07-03, 02:25 PM
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I would be interested in more details of your experiences with geothermal. Was this for new construction or a replacement of another system? If it was replacement, what kind of savings are you seeing. I very curious about savings during months where temperatures are not overly extreme.

Anything you can provide would be greatly appreciated, but I would be very interested in anyone who can provide before and after utility costs after installing a geothermal system.

Old 02-07-03, 02:47 PM
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Here's something else to check into....

I've came across this on another HVAC form.


This system works like a Geo system but.. No water! It's used all Refrigerant in the ground coil, Also uses Copper line for the heat transfer..

Also, with this system. it use less "area" for your coil vs the Geo system.

I am sure many of you are wondering. "Why Copper!?!?"

The Copper has a MUCH better heat transfer than plastic...

You've noticed when you take your dishes out of a dishwasher when it just got done running?

What is going to be hotter??

Plastic dishes?
or your Regular Dinner plate?

It's something to think about.. after I've read on this product, I am SOLD on it vs the water soruce heat pump system..
Old 02-07-03, 03:08 PM
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Thumbs up G O

Well if you want to go that way lets go with one not in the ground. try http://www. solarres.com

They have even got the old icy balls there ED

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