Building Energy Efficiency | This Old House

From This Old House.

Richard Trethewey checks out an Idea House in development and learns about energy efficiency building techniques.

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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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This Old House is America’s first and most trusted home improvement show. Each season, we renovate two different historic homes—one step at a time—featuring quality craftsmanship and the latest in modern technology. We demystify home improvement and provide ideas and information so, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring out contractors, you’ll know the right way to do things or the questions to ask. Our experts including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor give you the tools you need to protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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Building Energy Efficiency | This Old House
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