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Earth Tubes Cut Heat Costs
Lowry McCord, Rushville, Ind., designed and built an "earth tube" system for his 12-crate farrowing house that cost only $1,000, yet has reduced his heating and cooling costs. His idea was chosen as an award winner by Ciba-Geigy Corporation in a recent "money saving idea" contest the company sponsored.
"I buried 220 ft. of 12-in. plastic field tile 9 to 10 ft. deep. I installed two air intakes, one about halfway along the length of the pipe and one at the far end. My location slopes away from the building enough so that I was able to come off the far end of the pipe with a 4-in. drain pipe that surfaces on the slope of the hill and use natural drainage for condensation that builds up in the pipe. I pull the air in through the pipes with conventional exhaust fans inside the building.
"I've found that, during the coldest weather, incoming air has not been lower than 40?. In summer, air coming in is about 65? even on the hottest days. I have my own backhoe so the only installation expense I had was for material. I figure the system will pay for itself in two years in heat savings alone. The cooling is a nice bonus."

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #2