Dec 2012 Howard Hall Newsletter: Going Geothermal

Hello, friends! We don’t know how it happened, but the last of the autumn leaves has fallen and winter is officially upon us (well, almost officially). The days are getting shorter, it’s snowed on more than one occasion, and fighting off the constant, gnawing chill of winter has become my number one goal. Full-body mittens help, FYI.

We are currently combating the cold at one of our latest projects. One of the biggest parts of this full-house restoration just outside of Albany, NY is the installation of a geothermal system. Geothermal systems are just what they sound like: geo (meaning earth) and thermal (meaning heat). Earth heat systems. While we all know that the best way to keep your Dr. Pepper cold at the beach is to dig a cup-holder sized hole into the sand and let Mother Nature do its thing, digging a little further, say 250 to 300 feet, is where things start to heat up. Tapping into this naturally occurring heat source can both heat AND cool your home in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly way, not to mention you could significantly lower your utility bill.



Top: This huge drill was used to make five 250 ft holes. Center: One of the five 250′ holes. They will house two polyethylene pipes joined at the bottom with a u-joint. A water-based fluid is sent down one pipe and up the other, soaking up heat as it goes. Bottom: The heat is then transferred into the home through pipes laid in this trench.


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The app that takes you back

The Historic Albany Foundation recently announced the release of member Tim Varney’s new smartphone app “Albany: Then and Now.” Even the title alone sounds exciting! And now, after throwing a super fancy release the party, the app is officially available for download. So what exactly does “Albany: Then and Now” do, you ask?

     
The opening app screen (left) where you can navigate to the map (right). Each red arrow represents a location with an historical image associated with it.

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