$4000 heating bill

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Old 01-25-19, 02:42 AM
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$4000 heating bill

I have started to look at geothermal to help reduce heating cost. My home is 3100sq ft and was built in 1881. Its a 2 story brick with 11 ft ceilings. I have newer windows and doors. All walls are soild brick. I use propane for heat. My house has two furnaces, one in attic(97 % efficient) and one in the basement 80% efficient). My propane bill is around 4k a year. That's with the thermostat at 62 downstairs and 65 upstairs. I live in ohio. I have been thinking about installing geothermal and would do it myself. I have 8 acres and a backhoe. I have installed several furnaces before. Question is can you run two floors off one pump with two thermostats or would i have to install two whole systems? What kind of setup would I need to look at? Duct work can not run from one floor to the other due to solid walls but I can run pipes, so I need some way run both floors independently. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 03:04 AM
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I can't offer much help on geothermal heat pumps except to say that when compared to standard "air to air" heat pumps they operate at a much lower cost. Houses of your era were usually built with 2 or 3 courses of brick with no wall insulation A good choice would be to insulate all outside walls if possible. Before you make the switch, I would have an energy audit performed to ascertain the costs of your system vs. a heat pump system. There may not be a lot of difference in the operating cost unless you get your electricity very cheaply. My 2 cents
 
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Old 01-25-19, 04:18 AM
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I would be giving an 1881 house a thorough inspection with a thermal camera. Many had insulation blown into the walls in the 70's but were prone to leaving voids and settling over time. Then there are the windows. Modern thermal windows would help considerable. The attic is easy and insulation can be blown in as long as you don't have knob and tube wiring. And don't forget simply sealing up gaps and cracks around doors, windows, outlets and switches to prevent drafts.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 12:50 PM
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The house is actually 4 wythe of brick. So about 18 inch thick walls. Window are double pain and maybe 10yrs old and in good shape. Plenty of insulation in the attic. I have six exterior doors (no idea why so many) and last year I installed new insulated storm doors which tremendously reduced draft in the house. Also installed double insulated cellar doors in basement. AC cost in summer are outrageous as well. Electric bill is about 400. There is no AC on the first floor but it stays around 70 degrees all summer. Upstairs hits 100 easy and AC always has to run. This is why I thought about geothermal as it could help with heat and AC. Going to install a attic vent this summer to help draw heat out of upstairs during the summer. I have thought about an outside boiler or wood add on furnace, but dont really wanna deal with wood and that does nothing to reduce AC cost in summer.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 12:56 PM
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This would be difficult to make an armchair call. You should get a local expert assess your specific situation.
We have a 1920 American 4-square with central HVAC. It's impossible to regulate each floor evenly. We recently installed a mini duct split system for each of the rooms upstairs. Much happier in summer and winter now.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 04:47 PM
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Every house is different so take as example.

I have GEO system in my 2007 new build. House is two story, 3100 sq ft, most exterior walls are 2x6 with cellulose. Ceilings are at least R50 and daylight basement is fully insulated.

Our entire house is elec so our year round averaged elec bill is $219 per month and that includes electric hot water and a 500 gallon outdoor hot tub!

We have gas for the dryer and fireplace and some day when the hot water tank goes it will be converted to gas

We have a "pump and dump" system with a newer variable speed well and overall very pleased with cost and performance.

When we get temps down in the -temps we make efforts to close up all the windows at night to help heat loss, summer AC performance is outstanding.

My only concern, some day the unit will have to be replaced, that will be a $14K expense!!
 
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Old 01-27-19, 06:48 AM
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An energy audit costs nothing and will provide you with lots of alternatives, including a possible energy rebate worth thousands if your state has a program for it.
 
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