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We are trying to research different heating and cooling options for a new house we plan to build in the next 2 years. What type of heating and cooling system do you have, and how efficient is it? We currently have propane as a back-up heat source for fall and spring, and a wood furnace for when it's really cold. THe prop. definatley costs more, but it's easy to regulate. The wood furnace keeps the house a lot warmer, and the wood is free since we get it off our own land. Our house is older, but the walls are well insulated, the windows not so much. They literally let air straight in.

Some people we know who have built recently have used Geothermal heating and cooling, but I"m not sure how it works, or how well it works. Are there any ohter energy saving things we should be looking into since wea re building a new house?
 

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We put in GeoExchange and love it. It is amazing how well it heats and cools. I would prefer to be completely off the grid; I'd like to transition to solar, but need to do research into how that would work with the geoexchange system. It really doesn't use that much electricity, so efficient!

GeoExchange, in a nutshell: pipes run underground (wells or trenches) in a loop and the water/anti-freeze(?) solution exchanges heat with the ground (heat out of your house in summer, gets heat from ground in winter). Heat pump in your garage works its magic with said heat, and occassionally clicks on to force air (warm or cool) through ducts into your house. No emissions. No propane guy and deliveries. No skyrocketing costs of propane, oil, gas. Virtually silent. No risk of explosions, no pilot light always burning. Did cost more that standard HVAC to buy and install initially; but there are tax breaks for having it and we are saving SO MUCH over our neighbors with standard HVAC.

HTH! Best of luck building your house! We finished about 11 months ago, general contracted it myself, had a blast, I highly recommend that, too, saved SOOOOOOO much money over hiring a GC.
 
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