If you pay attention to green blogs, you know that the internet is abuzz with conversations about “net-zero energy”. Even the mainstream media and the homebuilder blogosphere have joined the discussion. These conversations usually focus on new construction, but what about the millions of homes that are already built? Is renovating old homes with new technology a realistic option for the future? The residential remodeling sector is an area ripe for efficiency upgrades, and we at Enertech are excited to be partnering with Purdue University and Whirlpool Corporation to demonstrate that geothermal heating and cooling can be an important piece of the efficiency puzzle.
Purdue is working with Whirlpool Corporation engineers to transform an off-campus, 1920’s bungalow into a net-zero energy structure. Net-zero means that over a certain timeline energy production equals energy consumption. To achieve this goal, the ReNEWW House (Retrofitted Net-zero Energy, Water and Waste) is being renovated to include technologies that promote resource efficiency, including an Enertech geothermal system!
The majority of the housing in the United States was built before the first energy crisis and with little regard for resource efficiency. These homes offer opportunities to find creative solutions to incorporate new technology into old structures. A geothermal system is an important part of this renovation process and can offer the homeowner incredible financial and energy savings. The ReNEWW House project will allow engineering students to explore possible solutions and to evaluate which technologies provide the best energy savings.
A geothermal installation is an excellent heating and cooling solution for nearly any circumstance. Geothermal systems perform well in cool northern climates as well as warm southern conditions, in homes small, large, new, existing and every home in between. The ReNEWW house project highlights this versatility of geothermal systems. It demonstrates that any home can become resource efficient when the right modifications are made!
Incorporating innovative and efficient technology into new home builds is important, but many Americans will never build a new home. The residential remodeling sector needs to be included in the net-zero conversation. We are so excited to be part of the ReNEWW House project and the larger net-zero energy discussion. To learn more about the ReNEWW House project, visit the Purdue website.