WaterFurnace geothermal heat pump.
It moves the heat from the house to the ground in summer and from the ground back to the house in winter. (Spring and fall it mostly just takes time off to visit family, catch up on reading and pursue hobbies. )
@werehatrack This was actually this past weekend. Our second trip to the Willard in two weeks (summer is fleeting). The first trip I wore my cowboy hat and boots and a few people mistook me for a popular country singer.
This weekend I decided to take it up a notch and packed everything in a guitar case. Everyone wanted to know if I was a musician. I just replied, ‘well, I do own a few guitars’… which is true.
The next day I stopped by the front desk to make sure I could get a late check out and the gentleman says, ‘Mr. Buchet, we’d like to move you to a different suite’. I said it wasn’t necessary and he replied, ‘No. We’d like to move your family to the Presidential Suite’. Ok. The White House is at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave. The Willard is at 1401. When former presidents are in town, they stay in that room. 2200 square feet of nonsense. I’m a nobody, but it seems a cowboy hat and a guitar case get you upgraded to a $7K a night room. Crazy weekend I got so many wife points I could probably leave plates on the couch
@capnjb that is an awesome story! Glad you got to enjoy an amazing upgrade!
(Love the guitar, boots and hat, too! We were just in Nashville last week…my daughter took her guitar, and we were certain we’d end up buying a few hats and boots…but we managed to escape town without purchasing any. The ‘kids’ had a blast trying them on so it was a close call! )
(My son was being a dork…pay no attention to the look on his face )
@k4evryng Very cool! I think I finally figured out why Stetsons are so expensive. They open doors I had a woman who was convinced I was a country star ask me, ‘you look so familiar, where do I know you from?’ I responded, I’m nobody. She said she didn’t believe me, but she’d respect my privacy. Ha!
@k4evryng It was funny because I told no lies. I just found ways to keep everyone guessing. When we pulled into valet parking there was a green Lamborghini that I parked in front of. There was a legislative conference at the time with lots of State supreme court justices and state attorneys present. I guess some had checked in behind me and as we were walking past their evening reception, a couple came out and introduced themselves. One of the state Supreme Court justices from Oklahoma asked, "Your daughter is so tall, how does she fit in the back of a Lamborghini?'. Simple response was, ‘That’s a long story.’ DC is a weird place
@k4evryng My hat is leather. I call it ‘Baby’s first Stetson’. I wasn’t sure if I was a cowboy hat guy or not, so I started with the base model. But they get stupid expensive very quickly. Now I need to figure out if I’m a white or black hat guy.
edit - you made a beautiful hat. I have lots of wierd skills, hat making is not one of them. Well done!
@k4evryng@Kidsandliz Somewhere on the internet there is likely a picture of an awesome bellman wearing my cowboy hat with his arm around my shoulder. I took pictures with so many people, just because they thought I was someone. My wife gave me a country singer name, Whitney Morse. My mom’s maiden name was Whitney and my grandmothers was Morse. So that’s how I rolled. Really a crazy weekend. Also got a hug from Australian tennis legend Judy Dalton at a random sandwich shop, but that’s a longer story.
@capnjb@k4evryng The photo you posted looks sort of looked like Gary Levox, Brantley Gilbert, Trace Adkins and maybe a few more - some of the photos were a bit old so don’t know how some of those guys look now (I googled top male country singers since an image search got sunglasses, cowboy hats and jackets ). I’d say travel decked out like this every time and use the guitar case as a suitcase more often. Heck the two of you might even get free food although thinking about it I’d guess that suite was pretty well stocked.
At least you guys helped the reputation of whomever it was in a good way acting like a unassuming person making no entitled demands.
@capnjb I can not express how much I am enjoying this epic story! It keeps getting better and better! I am rolling at the bellman comment. I don’t live far from DC…I’m going to roll in there with my guitar and tell them I know Whitney Morse…and he would want me to have the presidential suite as well!
Your daughter’s first day of school ‘What I Did This Summer’ essay will put all the other kids to shame (if she’s still in elementary or middle school, that is, lol!).
Thanks for sharing your shenanigans. And for the video. It’s nice to see how the other half lives, lol! And now we can say we knew you when you were just an itty bitty country star…
@capnjb On TV right now is Tim McGraw and his face on TV looks a fair bit like you only a bit older (lots of earlier photos he looks different in the cheeks - less filled in), plenty of photos have the same type of facial hair, and of course almost every photo I can find he has a cowboy hat on - typically black - which hides a lot of his face. Add sunglasses and you’d be similar enough that with the clue of the guitar that those who only sort of knew what he looked like could think maybe… And he has 3 daughters with blondish hair.
@capnjb Well maybe. On the other hand if they are going to mistake your wife for a daughter you can always say it is dad’s day out with one daughter at a time. Or just borrow his. I mean, if you are his virtual twin and all… Tell him you’d be glad to have him hire you as a double as long as it came with hotel rooms bigger than many houses and free drinks and food. (snicker - they really need a snicker icon)
I live in Central Florida. We have a modern central A/C system, but since I collect vintage window air conditioners I also have one of those in my bedroom window. Really helps because the far reaches of the house don’t get as cool (the idiot who designed this house put the central unit at one end, instead of, you know…centrally locating it). Bonuses include white noise for sleeping, and everyone crowds into my bedroom if the central unit stops working or the power goes out. (I’ve got a generator, too)
@kittykat9180 Huh - I find mine very effective when the air is dry. It’s not that refrigerator-level of chill, but I don’t like that anyway. At work I always had to have a sweater in the summer months. But right now it’s 92 outside and 76 inside my house.
I have central air from 1989, so I only run that when it’s humid. Otherwise I’ve got two window units that work excellent to cool the house. And a basement that stays much cooler than the upstairs, but it smells like basement.
@hchavers Takes about 3 weeks away from air conditioning to acclimate. I used to take adjudicated youth canoeing across the state of Florida. When staff from main came down they’d fight about who got to sleep in the walk in cooler. It was very hard to convince them that if they’d just let themselves suffer it would finally feel not as hot (of course then you freeze your ass off in stores because it is 25+ degrees cooler than outside…and we’d bring jackets and people would look at us like we were nuts.).
I usually use lots of fans and open windows at night. I’m melting though right now as the last two days have been the hottest of the year and the wildfire smoke means that I can’t open the windows. The neighbor’s cat also keeps destroying my sliding glass door screen so I can’t open that door to cool it down either. I’ve lived here for more than 15 years, thinking that I may have to invest in a window unit for next year.
@kittykat9180 In places where there is significant humidity in winter, a heat pump can only work if there’s a heat source that’s essentially inexhaustible to use for the heat exchange loop that’s acting as the evaporator coil in heating mode. Burying a very long copper tube deep enough provides a natural heat source to draw from, without having to worry that the coil will become encased in ice and incapable of delivering any more heat. In places like Florida and the Gulf Coast, heat pumps that don’t use a buried coil are worthless in winter, and a buried coil doesn’t work worth a damn in places where the water table is too close to the surface either.
@kittykat9180@werehatrack@unskol My geothermal heat pump uses a closed loop of approx. 600 total feet of plastic pipe that is buried horizontally ~6 feet in the ground. A pump in the furnace circulates a water/antifreeze solution through the pipe loop. In heating mode, the ground is warmer than the fluid, so the fluid gains heat. In cooling mode, the fluid is warmer than the ground, so the fluid dumps heat. At the house end of the loop, the heat pump either pulls heat from the house air and puts it in the fluid or pulls heat from the fluid and puts it in the house air, depending if it is cooling or heating. Sounds complicated, but it all works surprisingly well. https://www.waterfurnace.com/residential/about-geothermal/how-it-works
I think the assumption that all heat pumps are geothermal is a mistake. A LOT of them are just air exchange. but if you can get geothermal units put in they are WAY more effective.
We put one in Mom and Dad’s house next door when we built it 11+ yrs ago and she pays about $80 a month for her electric bill, summer or winter. Plus excess heat is used to create her hot water.
Only trouble was it was a real PITA to find someone that would do the install locally.
My central unit is very inefficient and rapidly reaching EOL so will be looking REAL hard at whether we can install a geothermal heat pump or not…
@chienfou@kittykat9180@werehatrack@unskol We’ve been very happy with our WaterFurnace geothermal HP. When we built this house (1997), the total bid for the heating system with the geothermal heat pump was $4K (~50%) more than for an air-sourced unit. But the local electric PUD offered a rebate incentive that just about covered the difference in price, so it was a no-brainer.
Our house (~3200 sq. ft., three floors, rural location, NW Oregon) is all-electric so the electric is the only utility bill. The high for the last 12 months was $146 (Feb 2023) and the low so far is $61 (Jul 2023). I can’t complain!
@macromeh My electricity bill for last month was $282, using the cheapest provider that is permitted to sell in this market. 2100 sq ft. Nobody sells geothermal around here as far as I can tell, probably because there’s just not room for the 2400 linear feet of buried coil on a typical urban Houston lot.
@werehatrack It helps that we have cheap, plentiful hydro-power here in the PNW - $0.072 per KWH. Plus a pretty mild climate (most of the time) compared to some areas of the country. But the geothermal heat pump is definitely efficient.
IIRC, we have ~600 LF of buried pipe in our loop - an in-out pair from the house that leads to the main multi-parallel-pipe manifold. But with 30 acres, there wasn’t an issue with room.
@show_the_maw I had an attic room as a kid. Hotter than hot in the worst of the summer. Parents had put an exhaust fan in the window on the landing there. Did nothing for me but sucked the hot air out of the rest of the house at night. I’d sneak down and shut the attic door in the middle of the night and then sneak down again when my room was cooler. I am not sure my parents ever found out as I never got yelled at for getting up twice each night to do that.
@jitc I mean we get the rain anyway but it doee feel weird because supposedly there’s a heat wave everywhere including the Midwest. Except there is not. At least here. Been pretty mild. Mosquitoes are a bitch though
@unksol yeah, 80s and 70s has been most of the summer here, with a few days in the 90s occasionally. August and September are our hottest months, though, so we can get into the 100s if a particularly brutal wave sets in.
@jitc@unksol Depending on where it’s measured, Houston has had either zero or one sub-100F high temps so far for August. Historically, the average is 95F. Our all-time record high is 109F. We might break it.
@jitc@unksol I own free and clear, wfh, and my S.O. is also wfh, but the problem is that my property value is on a strong upward trend that looks like it may crest at a level that would give us a lot of flexibility in choice of landing zone. But that’s probably several years away. The house is appreciating faster than they can raise my taxes. (Actually, the real value is the oversize lot combined with the 3 magic L’s of Real Estate. Any buyer is likely to shred the house and build a new one.)
@jitc@unksol@werehatrack Depends on where you are - my house is similar, a 100% guaranteed scrape-off, but in a highly desirable location on a nice-sized lot. So my property taxes are high even though the house looks like a hovel compared to the ones around it.
That was the story of Mom and Dad’s house before they moved here. Nice older STL neighborhood, last house on the cul-de-sac, good school district. They basically bulldozed the house into the basement and build a new ‘McMansion’ over it. Got enough (effectively just for the lot) that they were able to build a new house from scratch here free and clear. That house has now appreciated significantly, so it was a win-win-win situation. Real estate is crazy.
@chienfou I just really hope my wonderful next door neighbors on the west don’t sell and move anytime soon, because they also have a smallish house on an even bigger corner lot, and I’m sure whoever buys it will put something huge there and cut down all their trees.
@jitc@unksol@werehatrack Houston has a record high of 109F? I am surprised - normally mild Portland OR hit 116F in June 2021! I saw 112F on our front porch (but that was in direct sun.) It felt like standing in an oven. (And yes, I have stood in an oven (lumber drying kiln). )
They were having Olympic track trials in Eugene at the time. I can’t believe they didn’t postpone it. Those poor athletes - tough bunch!
FWIW there are still tax credits to be had for installing certain heat pumps etc.
Air source 30% up to $2000
Geo-thermal 30% with no limit.
This could be a spectacular savings – especially for ME. I could take pre-tax money out of my IRA/401K and use the credit to offset the taxes on that withdrawl if my current liability is under the amount of credit I would receive… gonna have to crunch some numbers.
Now if I can just find someone to do it locally…