Hog Farmer Replaces Dirty Oil with Clean Geothermal
During the winter of 2006 Murray Schlotzhauer received a home heating bill of more than $800 one month and began pondering the possibility of upgrading his oil furnace. Then he noticed a mess on the basement floor, wiped it up, and realized that the black substance on the mop was oil.
He suspected it was leaking out of a crack in the fire pot. After the last fuel bill, he didn’t want to mention this to his wife, Heather, but the mopping up soon became too frequent. It was time for a conversation about how they were heating their country home near Stratford, Ontario.
“I’m just a poor hog farmer, so I’ve got to watch my pennies,” says Murray. “At one time I sat on the insurance board and I learned how many leaky oil tanks there were out there. People said geothermal created nice even heat; and provides air conditioning too.”
Buchanan & Hall helped the Schlotzhauers verify that geothermal would be a good investment for their property. We installed a 5-ton geothermal heat pump, including over 3000 ft of tubing laid in trenches excavated outside on their property.
“It’s a highly efficient system because it has electronic variable speed technology. It doesn’t keep blasting on or suddenly shut off,” says Murray. “The heat is lovely. Heather especially likes it because she’s sensitive to temperature changes. If you have the thermostat set for 72°F (22°C), it will always be around 72.”
“With my oil furnace, I needed to have it serviced annually, and then often once more to fix something. After two years with the geothermal system I phoned Buchanan & Hall and asked about maintenance. They sent someone over to look at the pressure levels and I received an invoice for around $100. Since then, nothing! It hasn’t needed service. [I change the filter and] it just keeps on working year after year.”
“Now I spend somewhere between $250 and $400 on electricity for heating and cooling, compared with $800 or so for oil. This is a much better situation. Because don’t forget,” says Murray with a twinkle in his eye, “I’m just a poor hog farmer.”
My geothermal system just keeps on working year after year.