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Discussion: geo

in: Lori; Lori > 2023-03-30

Apr 1, 2023 1:30 PM # 
fossil:
I hope you at least kept the gas as a back up. We switched to geothermal several years ago and, while it's nice when it works, it's been anything but reliable. We've had failures nearly every year for one reason or another, sometimes for months while waiting for a specific part. Fortunately we have propane as a backup so have only been completely without heat only once. But since propane is simple they were at least able to get that going again pretty quickly. On the plus side, adding geo also gave us a/c for the summer.

Also, very sorry about your losing Presto. He seemed like such a free spirit and I've always loved his name. Somehow it just fit him perfectly.
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Apr 2, 2023 2:38 PM # 
Lori:
Hmm...we did not keep the gas as a backup because we are attempting to get off fossil fuels. We are planning to put in a wood stove as a backup for the power going out/extra heating power on super cold nights, but we didn't really expect to need to have a long-term backup in case the system just fails to work. That said, we haven't had heat all weekend because of system problems (luckily it hasn't been too cold this weekend). Hopefully once they get the kinks ironed out, our system will be more reliable than yours. Did Halco put your system in? Or did you go with some other company?

Thanks about Presto. He was a truly fantastic dog.
Apr 2, 2023 9:18 PM # 
fossil:
Yup, Halco did ours, too. In their defense I suspect we were one of their first installs. The guy who did most of the work was pretty sharp but it was obvious he was figuring things out as he went.

For a while they had another guy who was really knowledgeable, and who at one point ripped out a significant amount of our system and rebuilt it. Unfortunately they eventually lost him. My suspicion is he moved on to something more lucrative. Last I saw of that guy he was homebrewing a geo monitoring system using a raspberry pi. The idea being that it would keep track of things like temps at various critical points, save data to a db, and then be viewable via a web page from his phone. The kind of thing you would expect from pretty much any vendor in 2023 with a phone app. This he was doing nights in his free time with his home system.

Our geo stopped running again a couple weeks ago and I still need to call them about it. We needed propane anyway because the geo is tuned for making water ~ 100F for the radiant floors, so we need to boost the domestic water the last 20 degrees to get to 120F. Plus in the summer when the geo is making cold water for a/c we have to use propane for all the domestic water heating.
Apr 3, 2023 10:45 PM # 
Lori:
Eep! Well, our system is pretty different (entirely forced air). The geo is, in theory, also heating our domestic water, but we have an air heatpump to get our hot water up that last bit and that is running fine (thankfully!), so we still can take hot showers even though our geo heat isn't working. Fingers crossed they can figure out the problem soon! And I hope they get your system up and running again!

This discussion thread is closed.