Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

No Offer; Yes GSHP
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The people who made us an offer on Friday never responded at all to our counter-offer. The other offer that was supposed to come in yesterday morning did not: apparently the potential buyer did not receive the offer she expected on her own condo, so has not made one to us.

We attended an office picnic down on the lake all afternoon yesterday, for the University Publications division, of which the Office of Web Communication is part. Pretty low-key.

After much research, consideration, and consultation we have decided to have a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system installed for the house. This thing's going to cost more than our new car, so it's pretty expensive, but it's more expensive to not have it installed.

The core idea behind a GSHP is to use the ambient temperature of the ground to heat/cool a house. A pump in the basement will circulate fluid out into the ground about six feet deep. The fluid exchanges heat, becoming warm in the winter and cool in the summer, then bringing the difference back into the house.

From there, compression of the liquid will result in further heating or cooling as needed. The electricity required to power this system will cost several hundred dollars over the course of the winter, however the cost of oil to power the existing 20-year-old furnace will be several thousand. Thus, the system should pay for itself in only a few years. (And who know how long the old furnace will last?)

We could heat with wood as an alternative, for the cost of much, much labor and/or a goodly amount of cash as well. If we wanted to cut trees from our own property, we have no practical way to haul it up to the house. If we have someone else cut and deliver wood to us, it's just that much more expensive.

We expect installation to start in a couple weeks. Since we already have hot-air heat, retrofitting the GSHP to the furnace connections won't be problematical. It will be interesting to see it all installed and hooked up.

One further benefit: the system's very "green" in the sense of it not using oil or wood; pushing the use to the electricity producer's much more efficient because they can scrub their coal stacks to be fairly clean, or maybe we get hydro or nukes, I don't know.

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