Remote Montana ranch installs geothermal system, minimizes disturbance to landscape
What makes geothermal systems so attractive to consumers, besides operational cost-savings and installation incentives, is its versatility.
When Energy 1, a build and design firm, looked to bring energy efficiency to a remote Montana ranch, the company had to do so in such a way as not to disturb the pristine landscape and environmental richness of the area. The property owner listed geothermal at the top of his list of options for heating and cooling the home with renewable energy.
Energy 1 opted for an open-loop geothermal system, which would minimize disturbance to the home and landscape. It used two three-ton ClimateMaster Tranquility High-temperature (THW) Series water-to-water units. Energy 1 also used a direct horizontal drilling technique to run well-water supply and return lines below-grade to the edge of the ranch. That approach fed into a radiant heating system installed throughout the residence.
That is exactly what has unfolded. The property owner has reduced his cost and dependency on propane that had been used to heat the home.“To be successful with an energy retrofit project like this, the only long-term difference that the owner should experience is the slashing of their monthly energy bill,” said Leo Crane, vice president of Energy 1.
“Originally, I did what I thought was the right things to do energy wise,” the homeowner said. “But after living her for a few years, I realized there was a lot more I could do. The original house had a tight energy envelope and was operating rather efficiently over the past 11 years, but I worried about curbing costs on energy sourcing.
“I had been using propane gase, but I started running into efficiencies with the boiler. My plan was to replace it in the next five years anyway.”