Heather’s House

At 4232 Lovell Ave. in Fort Worth sits a modest two-story home in a suburb off the highway. This is Heather Ferrier and Travis Laminack’s project and home that they plan on selling in the near future. This is no ordinary remodel, it’s a sustainable retro-fit home that boasts some pretty impressive energy-saving repairs. This dilapidated home sat for years untouched until Heather and her father’s company, Ferrier Custom Homes, came along to remake the house into an energy-efficient and sustainable place to live.

The Ferrier’s decided to gear remodeling towards energy efficiency and reuse of materials. The floors are all original hardwood with any left over materials donated to Habitat for Humanity. More sustainable adjustments include duel flush toilets, low flow showers & faucets, zero scaping, tank-less water heater and solar yard lighting. The biggest and most energy-efficient improvements to the house consist of replacing all windows with Veritech double pained windows and newly foam insulated walls, ceilings and crawl space. Along with energy-efficient washer and dryer, class 4 shingle roof (40% discount on home owner’s insurance) and other small touch-ups, the home’s energy bill was quite small ($75/month) compared to neighbors ($700/month).

On each wall of the rooms in Heather’s house was a bulky box that I had seen before, but never in the United States. This box was a split unit air conditioner, part of the homes ductless air conditioning system. Ductless air conditioning is an affordable alternative to window air conditioners and is ideal for use in older homes where installing duct work could difficult and expensive. The design features a small, rectangular wall-mounted indoor unit and a separate compressor section that sits outside the home or apartment. Benefits include no loss of window space or light and quieter operation since the compressor is outside. A common term for ductless split systems is “mini splits.” The advantages of ductless split systems over room and central air conditioners are: easy installation, quiet operation, versatility in zoning and design, and security. The split systems also eliminate the loss of cool air as it passes through the duct work. Mini split ductless air conditioning  systems are an excellent alternative for heating and cooling homes. After hearing these benefits it’s hard to see why homes are still being built with inefficient central air systems.

As you can see the house looks amazing and Heather can feel good knowing that all the construction and costs went to creating an efficient, beautiful and eco-friendly home. (Those are solar lamps in the landscaping)

References: Heather Ferrier  http://www.ferriercustomhomes.com/home/

http://www.splitairconditioning.net/http://zomobo.net/HOW-TO-SCRAP-A-WINDOW-AIR-CONDITIONER-AC-UNIT

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