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Solar/geothermal installation in Columbus

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Q&A Solar/geothermal installation in Columbus

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  • #89530

    This isn’t a good time of year for solar power, but I’m wondering if anyone in Columbus has had a solar or geothermal installation done, and if so, by whom.

    Solar power would be for supplementation of grid power as I use too much power to send any back to the grid. There’s plenty of room on the south-facing roof to install solar panels but I wouldn’t be able to do the installation or wiring myself. The costs of solar have come down and I’m thinking we can start shaving some of our AEP bill sooner rather than later.

    My A/C is going to need replacement before summer, and the furnace isn’t far behind, so I’ve been looking into geothermal units for that as well. The attic in my house has been converted to a second story and it’s been well-insulated, but still hard to cool sufficiently in the summer without the A/C running at full blast from May thru October.

    We use CFL light bulbs, energy-efficient computers, the TV is off 23 hours of the day, etc. but now that I own a place I want to invest some dough now since electricity is gonna be way more expensive in 10 years.

    #474100

    howatzer
    Participant

    drewtoothpaste said:
    now that I own a place I want to invest some dough now since electricity is gonna be way more expensive in 10 years.

    If that’s your motivation, then you would be wiser to wait for 10 years.

    #474101
    derm
    derm
    Participant

    While I dont have specific info on those topics, if you are looking to cool your house better, with more efficiency, you may want to look into a whole house fan. We put one in this spring at a cost of 800 and our cooling bills were very much less each month. Open some windows and turn it on and the air movement becomes comfortable as well as the upstairs(old Grandview house) becomes bearable as well. Very quick cooldown after the sun goes down on a hot day. On high there is a wind though my house you could fly kite with. Might be tough with your attic situation or not. Ours is in the ceiling of our upstairs hallway. Also cools the attic so we dont have a heat blanket on top of us as well.

    #474102

    That’s a good idea, derm, I’m gonna look into that as well.

    #474103

    James
    Participant

    drewtoothpaste said:
    This isn’t a good time of year for solar power, but I’m wondering if anyone in Columbus has had a solar or geothermal installation done, and if so, by whom.

    Solar power would be for supplementation of grid power as I use too much power to send any back to the grid. There’s plenty of room on the south-facing roof to install solar panels but I wouldn’t be able to do the installation or wiring myself. The costs of solar have come down and I’m thinking we can start shaving some of our AEP bill sooner rather than later.

    My A/C is going to need replacement before summer, and the furnace isn’t far behind, so I’ve been looking into geothermal units for that as well. The attic in my house has been converted to a second story and it’s been well-insulated, but still hard to cool sufficiently in the summer without the A/C running at full blast from May thru October.

    We use CFL light bulbs, energy-efficient computers, the TV is off 23 hours of the day, etc. but now that I own a place I want to invest some dough now since electricity is gonna be way more expensive in 10 years.

    Solar and geothermal are very expensive, and to get a payback takes many years.
    Since the furnace and AC are working, for now, I’d think a good home energy analysis would be the best place to start. You may have lots of insulation, but it may be I the wrong place, or there may be lots of air infiltration, or the AC ducting may have leaks, etc. They might recommend a fan for venting, or a radiant barrier, or insulation changes etc. HVAC and insulation upgrades can get pretty expensive, so it’s a good idea to accurately diagnose the problem before spending on upgrades.

    #474104

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    I’d think a good home energy analysis would be the best place to start.

    We’re scheduled for one tomorrow. I’m currently clearing stuff out of the closet so they can get to the attic hatch.

    #474105

    James
    Participant

    alexs said:

    I’d think a good home energy analysis would be the best place to start.

    We’re scheduled for one tomorrow. I’m currently clearing stuff out of the closet so they can get to the attic hatch.

    I’m curious – does it include a blower door test, and what does it cost?

    #474106

    DavidG
    Member

    Solar power systems are not expensive if you construct them by yourself.
    My energy cost was drastically reduced after implementing photovoltiac power system.
    It still doesn’t pay off to officially invest in huge solar power systems. The money back is almost always over 10 years. But, if you invest in a home made photovoltiac electrical system it truly does pay off. Constructing and implementing my household system cost me below 2.000$ and the system gives me 90% electric efficiency in summer and 70% in winter. My energy problem was solved after the first couple of months adjusting it. After 1 year of using it I already got my invested money back, now If I construct 4 more panels I can sell electricity back to the network. This is what I’m planing to do. Instructions are a problem though, and I found mine very hard, use this review for quality instructions: review office

    #474107

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    James said:
    I’m curious – does it include a blower door test, and what does it cost?

    Yes, the blower test. It’s $425, less a $75 rebate from AEP.

    #474108

    James
    Participant

    DavidG said:
    Solar power systems are not expensive if you construct them by yourself.
    My energy cost was drastically reduced after implementing photovoltiac power system.
    It still doesn’t pay off to officially invest in huge solar power systems. The money back is almost always over 10 years. But, if you invest in a home made photovoltiac electrical system it truly does pay off. Constructing and implementing my household system cost me below 2.000$ and the system gives me 90% electric efficiency in summer and 70% in winter. My energy problem was solved after the first couple of months adjusting it. After 1 year of using it I already got my invested money back, now If I construct 4 more panels I can sell electricity back to the network. This is what I’m planing to do. Instructions are a problem though, and I found mine very hard, use this review for quality instructions: review office

    Would AEP let you sell electricity back with a home made system? That would seem unlikely to me.

    #474109

    James
    Participant

    James said:
    Would AEP (or any provider) let you sell electricity back with a home made system? That would seem unlikely to me.

    #474110

    irresistiblue
    Participant

    derm said:
    While I dont have specific info on those topics, if you are looking to cool your house better, with more efficiency, you may want to look into a whole house fan.

    For those with gas appliances they should consider backdrafting from depressurization of the home from the attic fan:
    http://www.epa.gov/iaq/homes/hip-backdrafting.html

    In order to test for backdrafting, “An inspector can release smoke or powder into the draft diverter to see whether it gets sucked into the duct or if it spills back into the room. A smoke pencil or a chemical puffer can be used to safely simulate smoke.” From Backdrafting – Int’l Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) http://www.nachi.org/backdrafting.htm#ixzz1wZBRbIpi

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