Posted to South-Dakota-Lake-House by Ben in Sioux Falls, SD
Wow! We finally have a finished foundation! It is three weeks late, due to Mother Nature. The drilling contractor is starting today, drilling our well and geothermal loops. Framing is starting on Monday, and the power company is finally pulling underground cable to our site so we can have power! Lots of activity and excitement as things really heat up.
I had a request to talk more about our heating and cooling. We are installing a geothermal heat pump system with radiant in-floor heat in our basement and garage. A geothermal system is extremely efficient. The premise is that the system uses loops deep underground (our system has five loops drilled 180' deep) to utilize the natural heat of the earth. The earth stays a fairly constant 55 degrees below 10'. In the winter, the heat pump circulates an antifreeze through the loops, drawing on this heat.
Since most people prefer heat above 55 degrees, the system has a secondary heat source to assist achieving the desired temperature. In the summer, the heat is drawn out of your home and into the earth (reversed). In our case we are also installing a Superdeheater. This allows us to direct some of the heat in the cooling cycle to our water heater. This essentially gives us free hot water! The energy savings with this system is huge. The only drawback to a geothermal system is the cost. However, the cost recovery should be less than 10 years.
We also plan to install a residential wind-power system. This will not come until next year, but this will provide an additional savings on energy and put us one step closer to being self sufficient for all our energy needs.
That's all for now. I will update our progress soon.