Thursday, December 11, 2008


Our major home-improvement project has begun. "Breaking ground" doesn't even BEGIN to describe the mess. AND, my camera died, so no pictures. I have to figure out how to upload camera-phone pictures to the blog.

Today, a red monster truck, complete with large drilling attachment, rumbled into the back yard, scaring Skitter Kitten and sending the shelties into a barking mania. It was that loud. There are three more days of drilling.

I know, drilling in Minnesota, in December, we are out of our minds. The reason is great, however. We are putting in a geothermal heat pump, and in-floor heat in the bottom story of the the house.

It sounds great, and will be when it's all finished, in March. Until then, we will have a week of jack-hammering up the basement's concrete floor before we get out of Dodge for Christmas.

When we get back, the walls will be ripped out, the floor dug down to the dirt, and the furnace suspended from the ceiling. Then the rebuilding begins.

I've got to get the camera fixed before then. I'm sure the sight of my house in ruins will delight many.

The end result---- heating and cooling, hot water and warm floors, all for a few dollars a month. And, green energy. Even with the cost of oil low, it should pay for its self in 8 years. The entire floor will be tile--easy to clean with two dogs, two cats and two kids trying their best to keep it messy.

BEST OF ALL--- a new office for me. Not a space in the dining room, not a corner of the guest room, but my own room. *sigh*


phylliso said...

That`s great,Fiona!We`ve been tossing around ideas like that,especially having the greenhouse now,it would be great to heat it also naturally.I believe our gov.of Pa.helps with giving discounts to go green,must look more into that...don`t know when you`re leaving,but have a safe & happy trip & Merry Christmas!phylliso

FIONA said...

Phylliso, the federal govt offers a $2000 tax credit for home owners who install a geothermal heat pump. That takes a little pain out of the price.

We're leaving on our trip on the 22nd and will be back the 1st.

Aleta said...

We were going to go geothermal and had the man come out and check it out, give us a price, etc., but we decided against it for two reasons: our house is rather small and we weren't sure it would save us that much money vs. what we'd pay for it, and there is a lot of rock in our pasture where they'd have to dig to put the pipes in and that may have increased the cost too much. We definitely want to go green and be "off the grid" so we think solar may be the best way for us to go. Have a great trip and a wonderful Christmas! I'm anxious to see your pictures of your ongoing project!

FIONA said...

Aleta, you're so right. Geothermal isn't the one-size-fits-all solution. We are fortunate that it works for us. Solar and wind (alone or in combination) are becoming more reasonable choices fo lots of people.

One thing everyone can do is make sure they're not wasting energy. Replace light bulbs, turn down the hot water heater, save your rain water in barrels to water your garden, make sure when you relpace appliances that you get the most energy-efficient you can find, add insulation.......

Many micro solutions to a macro problem, and everyone can do a little at a time, as they are able.