All posts by Dan

About Dan

Suburban homeowners Dan and Mary Deweese (that's us!) are celebrating Earth Day 2010 by embarking on a two-year quest to create a more sustainable suburban lifestyle, setting goals of cutting home energy usage by 50%, growing 500 pounds of produce in their backyard garden, minimizing waste production and use of unnecessary household chemicals. We're documenting our journey online (at Sprawlstainable.com) to chronicle the challenges and possibilities of living a more green, suburban lifestyle.

29 Jun

The Decision to Go Geothermal

SYSTEM-final-blog

The heating and cooling systems on our trusty suburban ranch was more than twenty years old when we decided it was time to replace them with new, high efficiency models. So Mary and I began our due diligence on the subject and started comparing available options. When I first learned about geothermal heating and cooling for residential applications, it was both fascinating and a little intimidating. It seemed like a technology that everyone should be using, but since they weren’t, I was skeptical that it could really be as advantageous as it seemed to be on the surface.

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29 Apr

Mary Mary (Not At All Contrary),
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Quite Well, Actually

a-rose

In our quest for more sustainability, with one of our primary goals involving growing our own food, we’ve got a couple of things going for us already: Mary loves plants,has a knack for growing them, and a few years back we invested in some improvements to our yard that included a number of raised beds and planting areas.

However, is is only recently that we’ve changed our thinking to more edible landscape plants. The earlier years of Mary’s graden focused more on ornamental plants and aesthetic priorities. Read More

27 Apr

Drill, Baby, Drill: The Dirt on Geothermal Installation

Dirt Left After Geothermal Installation

One of the factors to consider when choosing a geothermal heating and cooling system are the ramifications of the exterior installation requirements. Unlike traditional systems, there is quite a bit of work that needs to be done outside the home to place the lines in the ground that are needed to carry the liquid that runs to the compressor inside the house. The photo here shows a simple illustration of where the holes were drilled in our yard, 200′ deep and 10′ apart. (Geothermal systems can also be installed horizontally, or in pond or open loop systems, but in our situation vertical loops were the best option.) Read More

26 Apr

Time Lapse Geothermal Drilling and
Trenching Videos

time-lapse

We’ll be doing a number of posts about our new geothermal heating and cooling system. It is a substantial investment in our home, and will go a long way towards meeting our goals of reducing our energy bills and our carbon footprint.

These videos are made from time lapse photography we captured during the outdoor portion of the installation process. Read More

26 Apr

Begin with the End in Mind: Our Home Energy Audit

Energy Audit Montage

With our goal of slashing energy costs by 50% over the next two years, we needed to know what we were dealing with in terms of the condition of our house.

We decided to get a home energy audit, which can be a great way to understand the current condition of your home for energy savings opportunities.  In our case, two technicians from St. Louis based Home Green Home spent about three hours in our house. They checked the levels of insulation in the attic, walls, and basement. They used an infrared camera to look for areas of heat loss and inefficiency, and they performed a blower door test to analyze the air exchange in the house. Read More

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