The Hartnett Family

Patrick and Patricia Hartnett live in Rockton, Ontario. High utility bills from an old oil furnace, combined with plans for an addition to the house motivated the Hartnett’s to research alternatives for heating and cooling their house. During the winter of 2009, the Hartnett’s spent over $3,200 heating their home with fuel oil. They wanted a system that would cost them less in monthly bills and heat and cool their home more effectively. They wanted a system that would operate efficiently without any major renovations or upgrades needing to be done to the home itself.

The initial interaction with Green Method revealed a major challenge: how to take advantage of their large property, ideal for a horizontal loop installation, when there were only 2 feet of top soil before hitting solid bedrock. A former quarry site within the property, situated just two hundred feet from the house, provided room for the six feet of coverage for the loop, provided extra truckloads of soil where brought in to cover the top of the loop.

The geothermal system was designed to handle the load of the existing house and the future addition. The heat loss and gain calculations revealed that the house needed 52,000 BTUS to maintain 72ºF at the design outside temperature of 1ºF. The basement was very wet, due to the stone walls and high water table.

Based on the results of the heat loss and gain calculations and basement conditions, Green Method recommended a 4 ton, 2 stage horizontal geothermal unit elevated two feet from the floor. The loop consisted of 3000 feet of ¾ “ HDPE pipes. The installation took three days to complete, including the loop, duct installation and equipment. Shortly after the system was installed, Patricia says the family immediately noticed the difference.

Since the installation of the geothermal system in late 2009, the Hartnett’s reduced their heating bill by approximately 67%. The home also enjoys cooling now. At a set temperature of 73 °F, combined heating and cooling costs in 2012 amounted to only $930. The Hartnett’s are enjoying the full comfort of a geothermal system and much reduced operating costs, without any upgrades to their home. The geothermal solution is effective in any household, and is ideally suited to the rural environment.