Holliston LEED House

This is the story of a family who built the first LEED "green" house in Holliston, Massachusetts. We were trying to spend no more than it would take to build an ordinary house,and maybe even succeeded. The dust is still settling.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ah, HVAC systems...

While waiting to find out how much geothermal really is, we’re now looking at the Freewatt™ from Climate Energy (www.climate-energy.com), a micro combined heat and power (Micro CHP) system. You start with a high-efficiency propane furnace with appropriate ducting. Then, you add on another piece—a generator that produces power. Sure, not too much (like 1.6 kilowatts) but it’s going in the right direction. (More information on this technology at www.epa.gov/cppd/climatechoice/technology.htm)
The furnace part is around $5,000, then the generator part is more, about $11,000. Plus the ducting, I’m sure. And you won’t have AC, but with an SIP-built home like ours you will have a whole-house fan somewhere, which mostly does the trick up here in New England. And jeez, you can’t have everything, can you?
So we start with the furnace, and maybe next year can graduate to the generator. Since we have no natural gas, just propane, none of the systems is picture perfect.
One thing’s for sure, I’m learning more about HVAC than I ever really wanted to know. Construction financing is next. Can’t wait.

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