Heating and Cooling: World's First LEED Net Zero Home
Paul Rosen, the builder of this LEED home, talks about its sustainable heating and cooling systems. This LEED home is heated using an outdoor heat pump manufactured by Bryant. A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that can reverse its cycle, and instead of supplying the house with cool air, it can supply the house with hot air. The heat pumps in this home were installed on its south side so that they are in the bright sun in the winter, and they are in the shade in the summer. According to Paul, these heat pumps are 20% more efficient at heating when they are located in the sun. Paul explains that heat travels in 3 ways: radiant heat, conductive and convective. The reason these pumps are more effective when in the sun is because this results in a radiant heat effect that would not be created otherwise.
With all this heat pumping, how can this home be a Net Zero home? The almost non-existent heating bill is the result of the photovoltaic (PV) panels that generate the electricity necessary to power the heat pump. These PV panels also generate extra electricity during certain months that feed into the grid, and the home takes back what it needs during the cool nights in the winter.
In addition to using a heat pump to heat and cool the home, the home has a Radco storage tank and heat exchanger to supply the home's hot water. This water is heated through the home's Solar Thermal panels.
Background: We took a trip to Sebastopol, California to tour the first LEED home in the world! The home was built from the ground up by Paul Rosen, Founder of North Bay Energy as well as a builder and sustainability consultant. Amazingly, the house is so energy efficient that the total annual utility cost is less that $10! Skeptical? Well we were too, so Paul invited us to tour the home while he explained all the different design features.
If you are interested in more information about the home, contact us, and we will put you in touch with the owner.
This video is the fourth part of a series on this home. Look for previous parts of this series, and check back soon for part 5.