In-Laws Impressed by Economics of Geothermal Heating & Cooling
Listowel, Bostech, Gerald & Connie Seyler, John Bosman
When their house was being built by his wife’s parents in 1993, Gerald Seyler suggested a cooling and heating system that would do a lot of work without costing much (His in-laws could not be reached for comment). It’s near Gads Hill, a few kilometres north of Stratford, Ontario.
Gerald Seyler, John Bosman
Gerald claims he’s not certain what they thought of his input, but the geothermal system he was talking about was installed. Seven years later he and Connie bought the place from her parents. Her grandfather owned the land at one time, so Connie was the third generation in her family to call it home.
“If you have a country property it can be harder to get help out here in the winter,” says Gerald. “So you do your research and try to do the right things in the first place.”
He had become interested in geothermal after first trying out one of the early air source heat pumps. They provided effective cooling and heating in small dwellings, especially during above-zero weather. He had learned that geothermal heat pumps were even more efficient, and could be connected to existing wells used for drinking water.
They paired a Climatemaster geothermal heat pump with their well, which is 213 feet deep, and for many years it provided 100% of heating and cooling for an 1800 square foot home.
“By 2008 crude oil was more than $140 per barrel and we were very satisfied with the geothermal.” Gerald is an IT professional, and had been keeping Excel spreadsheets since 2004 that compared his kilowatt use. “I figure I was saving about 65% every year.” (The in-laws may have been impressed at this point, but we don’t know).
They had enlarged the kitchen and done some other enhancements and in 2009 Gerald and Connie decided to add a 900-foot trench and lay 1800 feet of ground source loop. Then recently, after 25 years with the original heat pump, they opted for new technology. John Bosman of Bostech Mechanical in Listowel installed a two-stage GeoSmart geothermal unit with a high efficiency variable speed ECM motor that runs on R410A refrigerant.
According to Gerald’s spreadsheets the new geothermal heat pump is about 20% more efficient than the original. “Its great because while you’re cooling your house, you are also making some hot water.” (Insert another in-law joke here).
“And in my mind another real advantage of geothermal is that the air that comes out of the register is the correct temperature. It’s not as hot and it wafts out. It doesn’t blow out. It’s more level. It’s not fluctuating. I had natural gas before and the fan starts at full blast. With geothermal you don't even really hear the fan come on.”
Gerald on video