Szumila Portrait

Bringing the Outdoors Inside For Home Heating

Szumila Portrait

Like many in our community, Tyler and Emily Szumila love spending time outside. Whether tending to their backyard vegetable garden, hiking in the woods, or kayaking the lakes and rivers of lower Northern Michigan, much of their recreational time is devoted to the great outdoors. What sets them apart from their neighbors, however, are the steps they took in making it great indoors.

When they purchased their home in 2018, they knew the wood pellet stove used as a primary heat source would need to be replaced. Even with the supplemental heat provided by propane, they burned through several tons of pellets in their first winter. The series of fans they arranged to transfer the stove heat throughout their house was cumbersome. The cleaning they did on a weekly basis, along with the steady transport of pellets from outside to indoors, was also a bit more labor intensive than they cared for, as well.

Systems Installed
Well-Connect Hybrid Geothermal System, Humidifier, Programmable Thermostat, Discounted Meter.

Installation Time
1 day for Well-Connect. Additional day scheduled with Electrician to install subtractive meter.

Project Cost
$7,800 out of pocket. Total project cost $12,841 for installation, Well-Connect unit, humidifier, thermostat, and subtractive Meter. Tax rebate saved $3,500. GLE and EO rebates provided $1,500.

Size of Home
1300 sq ft, 3-bedroom, 2-bath.

When Tyler noticed an ad in GLE’s Michigan Country Lines promoting rebates for an HVAC upgrade called Well-Connect, his interest was piqued, and he called the listed number for more information. Through his conversation with Well-Connect, he was able to meet with a local installer who came out to provide a free assessment of his home and provide a little more context for the project.

The installer explained that Well-Connect is a hybrid geothermal solution for home heating and cooling. Tapping into an existing residential well system, Well-Connect utilizes the steady, predictable temperature of ground water to handle the bulk of the heating and cooling of a home. It works with the home’s current heating system to greatly reduce the expense associated with burning fossil fuels.

“They were super flexible and accommodated our work schedule for the assessment. We arranged with our contact to come by after 5 p.m. to review our home setup,” Tyler said. “He assessed our duct work, electrical boxes, and really just put our minds at ease by answering all of our questions.”

Their free quote was provided immediately after the assessment was completed. Not long after, the Szumilas decided to move forward with Well-Connect.

In a day and a half, the Szumila’s home was outfitted with a Well-Connect Hybrid Geothermal System, a humidifier, a subtractive meter, a secondary well tank, and a programmable thermostat. Much of the cost of the project was offset by rebates. At the time of the project, the Szumilas took advantage of a 30 percent tax credit (applied during tax season) towards the cost of the Well-Connect unit and installation. They saved an additional $1,500 through rebates from GLE. The subtractive meter that was installed, solely for the Well-Connect unit, provides a 3-cent discount for each unit of energy used throughout the life of the meter.

“Don’t be afraid to make that phone call. It’s hassle free, they will come and talk to you and answer your questions,” says Tyler. “With the available rebates and tax credits, you should act sooner than later. They may not be available like this forever.”

The nearly $13,000 project cost the Szumila’s less than $8,000 from start to finish and the savings will continue to pay off into the future. Who knew utilizing the great outdoors to make a home more comfortable could be so simple?

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