Mr. Tot speaks out

This is Mr.Tot’s take on our new mud wrestling establishment, I mean our geothermal installment process….

(written on Tuesday of last week)

Drill Baby Drill!!

So this is some “Drill Baby Drill!” I can get behind. Seriously. I have been trying to get a Geothermal Heating and Cooling system installed here since March. Well, suddenly, this morning, the driller showed up. They will be drilling 2 holes, 300 feet deep each, in my back yard (I use the word ‘yard’ loosely, as we chose to do this project before landscaping the back, but I digress).

This is a move for the environment, and for clean, renewable energy. Well, not so much, but it’s a move to significantly reduce the amount of energy my house uses. By about 70%, according to the installer. That’s a LOT. We are replacing a 20 year old 4-ton unit (with a SEER Rating of about 8 ) with a Geothermal unit with a SEER Rating of 28. Read a little about SEER Ratings here. The chart on that page suggests the annual cost of a SEER 8 system at about $130/ton. Do the math. They only go up to a SEER 14 (most HVAC Contractors these days will quote you a maximum of a SEER 15 system as the most efficient, affordable, system you can buy). Again, we’re going to SEER 28.

And if you think it’s overly expensive, think again. Well, actually, it is overly expensive. In the quotes we got, it ended up being about twice the cost of a conventional, SEER 15 system. But by installing Geothermal, we qualified for a 30% Tax Credit from the Federal Government (and that includes installation!) with no maximum, as well as a 30% State tax credit (with an $8,500 maximum). Once we figured those in, the cost was actually less than the standard system. And a 70% savings/reduction in energy use on top of that? I’d call that a no-brainer.

So here’s how today is going:

Challenge #1: Getting the massive drilling rig into the back yard. First, back it down my neighbor’s driveway, across their lawn and between 2 massive trees.

Then carefully down the steep side yard without hitting the house.

And around into the back yard without taking the deck off the back of the house.

The rig is massive, even before it’s set up.

And once set up, it’s even bigger.

And it’s LOUD. And by loud I mean deafening.

If this causes some sort of environmental catastrophe or anything, I fully expect a speedy apology from Rep. Joe Barton to be forthcoming.

Expect further updates.

And then on Thursday, he wrote:

I’m so screwed

If it looks like the drilling rig — and possibly the backhoe they were trying to use to extract the drilling rig — are stuck, it’s because THEY ARE.

Of course, the screwing could get worse in the event that the Backhoe finishes tipping over into the neighbors’ new flower beds.

Yeah, it’s as bad as it looks.


And my final note:  So, finally Friday they finished drilling and ALLELUIA managed to get the drilling truck out of our back yard.  It took them 3 days to drill the first hole, and 1 to do the second one.  Of course they were worried that the forecast said RAIN all night, and they might hear a giant sucking sound as our backyard swallowed their truck whole.  Amazing what the proper motivation can accomplish.

Here’s our new mud wrestling pit…  Notice how they tried to prevent it all from spreading back into the woods?

Yeah, ummm, it didn’t work…  it goes all the way back to the stream bed.

The mud is our giant eraser for all the weeds.  Time to start fresh and work on our magnificent landscaping plan! (No, it’s not the mud pit — there IS a plan…)

The rest of the geothermal system gets installed today and tomorrow or maybe Wednesday, which is great since yesterday was 101°.  And then the temperatures drops 25° …  Yes, just like when it hadn’t rained for months and then it started the minute we dug that HUGE hole in our front yard, , now that we will have a super efficient cooling system, we will no longer need it.  Yes, we can control the weather, in a perverse sort of way…. You’re welcome.

1 comment to Mr. Tot speaks out

  • Sherri

    So Mr. Tot speaks!

    That is really interesting (even though I don’t know what SEER is & have no interest in finding out) – thanks for the run down should we ever think of immersing ourselves in such a possibility.

    Good narrative, good pictures – I say that Mr. Tot gets a guest spot here! Can someone second my motion?

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