Mike Lubliner makes his living preaching residential energy conservation for Washington State Universitys Cooperative Extension Energy Program in Olympia, and he practices what he preaches.
The 2,600-square-foot Moduline Industries house he purchased four and a half years ago is well-insulatedR-21 in the walls, R-33 in the floor and R-38 to R-49 in the ceilings. It has foam core doors and vinyl low-E glass Energy Star windows.
Energy Star appliancesdishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryerwere added after market and all lights in the home are Energy Star fluorescents. I havent changed a light bulb since Ive been here, Lubliner said.
Energy Star is a voluntary labeling program for energy efficient appliances, lights and other products recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy.
Lubliners choice of exterior colorscrimson and grayearned it the unofficial designation WSU Energy House.
He also incorporated some new technologies not in general use in manufactured housing.
The home has a mechanical ventilation system. We use a systems engineering approach to evaluate the overall building and optimize the energy and indoor air quality, he said.
The energy and heating, ventilating and air conditioning package added about $6,400 to the homes cost, but power bills are about $900 less per year than comparable manufactured homes meeting minimum HUD standards.
The home is monitored and data analyzed by the WSU Energy Program under a U.S. Department of Energy Building America Program contract.
The neat thing about (the home) is that it has given me a hands-on appreciation for the pluses and minuses of some of these new technologies.
For example, most residential heat pumps are split systems, he said. Youve got an outdoor unit with a coil in it and a fan and then you have a refrigerant line that connects that unit to an indoor coil located inside our air handler. The Insider is self-contained, with the outside unit a part of the inside unit. The Insiders source of outside air is the crawl space. Weve been evaluating the noise and energy performance of this new technology.
Lubliner is retrofitting a solar water heating system on the home to evaluate a concept called solar ready. The manufacturer would ship a home pre-plumbed for solar panels with mounting hardware already on the roof so somebody could bolt down panels and do the installation if the owner decided to go solar later.
We added additional insulation to the ductwork in the crawl space and sealed some leaks with a mastic material. Some of the feedback on the ductwork tape failure has helped improve the Pacific Northwests Super Good Cents Manufactured Housing programs specifications, he said.
Lubliner is a member of a National Fire Protection Association and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineer committees that set building standards, so some of my experience has gone into proposals to improve manufactured housing.
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