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With high efficiency standards including a double-walled frame, triple-glazed glass and extreme attention to air sealing, the energy efficient house is expected to use only 244 gallons of propane for backup heat. The solar hot water system is designed to provide most if not all heating and hot water in the fall and spring.
Our approach is to do everything we can during the design phase to minimize the heating load (cooling isn’t much of an issue in our region); then we figure out the best, most cost-effective way to meet the goals we’ve set. The project I’ll discuss in this article is a 2,500-square-foot house with an airtight double shell, high levels of insulation, triple-glazed windows, and a low-maintenance exterior.