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Rynearson Home - Temple, Texas

Success Stories - Rynearson Home Temple TX

Enhancing a green lifestyle with SunSource

When Dr. Robert Rynearson and his wife, Marjie, began to seek ways to lower their $500-$600 monthly utility bills, they turned to their son, a Chicago resident and passionate proponent of renewable energy.

Their system, which consisted of two outdated air conditioners and a furnace that was very noisy at startup—“like an earthquake beginning,” according to Marjie—already needed replacement. Plus, in spite of the large monthly energy expenditure, there were still “plenty of cold spots in various areas of the home.”

An ambitious goal

The Rynearson's ultimate goal was to cut their heating and cooling bills in half. They had already made a lot of other changes to their lifestyle to save energy, including turning off their pool pump at night, purchasing a low-energy washer and dryer, switching to CFL bulbs and turning off a seldom-used refrigerator and two seldom-used water heaters.

The solar challenge

Following their son's advice, Robert and Marjie explored geothermal and wind energy before discovering these were not suitable options for their home. "Then," said Marjie, "we looked for a solar supplier in Texas, without much luck. We finally discovered that Lennox and Lochridge Priest offered a solar home energy system, and they helped us find a way to make it work."

The Rynearson's home was largely shaded, making solar installation to the roof impractical. Instead, the Rynearson's offered their adjacent property, which they purchased to avoid having it developed. With lots of sun and plenty of room, it proved a viable option for the SunSource installation.

Finding the right match

Rick Matetich, Sales and Service Manager of Temple, Texas, mechanical contractor Lochridge Priest, Inc., started by replacing the home's two outdated 7-ton air conditioners with a 5-ton Dave Lennox Signature® Collection XC21 air conditioner. The solar-ready outdoor unit was controlled by a newly installed Harmony III™ zoning system to create four separately controlled comfort zones in the home, with a ComfortSense® 7000 thermostat for each designated zone. Fifteen SunSource solar panels completed the installation.

Savings worth celebrating

Once installed, the Rynearsons hosted a "solar party" for the neighbors. Matetich brought a bottle of champagne, and the local news came out to film a segment about the first solar installation in the area.

Within three months of the installation, the Rynearsons are already seeing the energy savings. So far, they have saved 1.41 megawatt hours (MWh), and approximately $225—roughly half—off their monthly utility bills.*

"We're extremely happy with the SunSource Home Energy System," said Marjie. "Previously, we set our thermostat on 75 or 76. Now, we keep it at 80 and feel just fine. In fact, sometimes 78 just feels too cold."

*Through June 2011

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