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Building Energy Efficiency | This Old House 

Video

Overview

Watch Richard Trethewey as he goes to Devens, MA to visit a new house with advanced building techniques.

Richard Trethewey goes to Devens, MA to visit a new house with advance building techniques. He meets builder Dan Gainsboro who says the entire heating season will only cost $1000 or less for this new house—considerably lower than what our homeowners were paying to heat their house. He shows Richard how the houses in the development are built using 2×6 walls with insulated panel sheathing for a water and air-tight shield. Walls are insulated on the inside and the window openings are wrapped with flashing tape and even the headers are insulated. They used triple glazed windows throughout.

The finished Idea House is a lovely small scale home with an open floor plan. The light fixtures use LEDs and the appliances are all Energy Star rated. In the well-insulated basement, there’s no mechanical room because mini-split heat pumps are used to heat and cool the entire house. And finally, Dan shows Richard the solar panels on the south facing roof of the garage. On a sunny day, the panels generate enough electricity to power the house for a family of four.

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