Ashland undergoes geothermal makeover

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Wednesday’s weather likely had you thinking about heating costs as we head into the colder months.

So is Ashland the Henry Clay Estate, as it prepares to overhaul the heating and cooling system.

It's expected to help them cut their utility bills in half.

The importance of preserving the integrity of historic artifacts is not lost on Ashland's Curator, Eric Brooks.

"That stuff wants to be in stasis,” said Brooks. “It wants to be in a situation where there's not a lot of change going on."

With a new $80,000 geothermal heating and cooling system, the hope is utility bills will go down from what's estimated to be around $12-1,400 a month.

It will replace a 20-year old chiller.

"We've been lucky to have it as long as we have,” he said. “We've felt for a while that we're going to have to replace it because it's going to die."

The ductwork and air vents will stay in place.

It's the basement and outside that will see the real work.

For a home built in the 1800's, a lot of care has to be taken.

"What we're going to do with the system is create an environment in which temperature will fluctuate a minimal amount. I'm hoping 10-degrees or less that would be an improvement."

This project is funded through the private foundation that runs the estate.

The last major project at Ashland was back in 1991, when they completely restored the home.

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