mouth…meet the money.

Yes, we are putting money where our mouth is. We are biting the bullet and installing geothermal. When we moved into our house, it was heated by an outdoor wood stove which sounds like an amazing idea. All you have to do is put wood in the box which heats water pipes that circulate into the house. Then air-handlers blow across the pipes, effectively heating the rooms to a nice toasty temperature.

Well, the romance of finding wood, stacking it and feeding the box has worn off after eight years. Nine cords of wood for an old house was a year round job. The logistics of heating a two zone house that was built in the 1880’s has led us to the idea of geothermal. And this week, the installation began.

Yesterday the backhoe arrived and started literally ripping up our yard. I watched with some trepidation as the backhoe reached it’s long neck towards the house. The operator, however, was an artist, deftly scooping and placing dirt with the finesse of a ballerina.


A trench then had to be dug from the house to the top of the hill…through a pretty major stone ledge (this is Carroll County after all).


Shooting off of this original trench are six-six foot deep trenches about 10 feet apart running down the hill.


Our sledding hill was turned into one large dirt field.


During this digging, the dead peach tree disappeared (with my blessing) and some interesting things were dug out of the soil, including what looked like part of a cab of a truck. We looked at it, took pictures then buried it again. Here’s the tire and large piece of concrete we found.


Coils were laid in the bottom of the trenches that would hold the circulating water system.

geothermal geothermal

By 6:00 p.m. the coils for the system were laid, and the trenches filled back in. Mowing is not an option for several weeks which has caused Mr. R a little anxiety. Today all the old machinery for the wood system was dismantled and taken out. It’s a good thing that we are having unseasonably warm temperatures because we will be without heat for several days.

Here’s the good news with this system…the air-conditioning units go away. Geothermal is both the heat and the air-conditioning system for the house. I no longer have to listen to outside units turn on and off during the summer and I can plant some bushes next to the house.

Here’s the other good news. The state, the federal government and the local electric company are so excited we are doing this they are actually going to give us money! So some of the cost is being paid for by the taxpayer…I’m okay with that.

And the really good news is that we no longer have to have wood delivered, stack it and then feed the beast from October to April. We can just turn on the thermostat and there will be hot or cool air whenever we want it. Mr. R is really excited about that.

The best news of all? No trees or fossils were killed for us to have this luxury. Sweet.

7 thoughts on “mouth…meet the money.

  1. Major earthworks but how great that you were able to do this. And to have financial support as well. I wish our Govt were more generous with energy saving measures.

    1. This is a sore point in our government…there are many (mostly Republican) politicians who do not believe in climate change and are doing nothing to ease it. Ugh.

    1. I don’t think my husband understood the scope of the project either, he’s been freaked out all week. I am hoping it all works out okay. No going back now.

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