Eco-Smart Technology: Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency 

One of the core focuses of our eco-smart home is energy efficiency. Our eco-smart home was desiged to be as efficient as possible so that all the home's energy needs could be supplied by the 11kw roof mounted solar array supplied by Independence Renewable Energy.

Energy efficiency is achieved in his home through a combination of insulation, efficient mechanicals, energy star appliances, Low-e windows, and insulated building materials.


Eco-Smart Features

11 KW Solar Array

  • DJK's Eco-Smart Home houses one of the largest residential solar arrays in the state of Illinois. This system from our partner, Independence Renewable Energy consists of 40 Suniva solar panels and 40 Enphase microinverters that produce an astonishing 11kw of power, enough to run the entire home. This system will produce an excess amount of energy during the day, which will be sold back to the electrical company.

Pella 350 Series Low-E Triple Glazed Windows 

  • In order to maximize energy efficiency and reduce the homes heating and cooling needs we selected one of the most efficient windows in the industry, the Pella 350 series with triple glazing. The U-factor of .17 is one of the lowest in the industry, allowing the windows to insulate the home well and lower heating and cooling costs.

Carrier Infinity 20 Heat Pump With Greenspeed Intelligence

  • The Infinity series heat pump with Greenspeed intelligence is the first heat pump of its kind. "No other ducted, air source heat pump can beat its 13 HSPF rating for heating efficiency. It's a winner too, when it comes to cooling. But perhaps the biggest story is what it can do for your home comfort."

    "Greenspeed intelligence is created by pairing adaptable-speed technology with our Infinity control's intelligence. The unique, variable-speed compressor of this unit, when managed by the Infinity control as part of a complete Infinity system, allows it to literally adapt its output to the needs of the home. With infinite adjustments between 40 and 100% capacity, it gives the home only the amount of cooling or heating necessary."

Carrier Infinity 98 Gas Furnace With Greenspeed Intelligence

  • The furnace in this home is only meant to be used once the temperature dips to low where the heat pump can no longer keep up. "The Infinity® 98 furnace delivers precision comfort with Greenspeed™ intelligence. This is the most advanced Carrier® furnace ever made. Its unique design innovations achieve unprecedented efficiency and quiet.

    Greenspeed intelligence is created by pairing adaptable-speed technology with our Infinity control's intelligence. The unique, modulating gas valve of this unit, when managed by the Infinity control, allows it to literally adapt its output to the needs of the home. With tiny, 1% adjustments between 40 and 100% capacity, it gives the home only the amount of heating necessary.

    This allows the furnace to operate longer at steadier, lower capacities, which ensures incredible energy efficiency and quiet operation with tighter temperature control than standard furnaces." 

Whirlpool Energy Star Rated Appliance With Induction 

  • All of the appliances in DJK's eco-smart home are ENERGY STAR rated. This means that the appliances use much less power than traditional appliances. All appliances are from Whirpool Corporation. The induction range is the highlight of the kitchen. With induction cooking you can get precise temperatures while greatly reducing the amount of electric used. 

Advanced Air Sealing with Ecoseal & OSI Green Series 

  • One of the most import aspects of energy efficiency in the DJK eco-smart is the air sealing. Air sealing a home helps to prevent uncontrolled air leakage out of the home which results in heating and cooling inefficiencies. DJK Homes used a combination of zero-voc Ecoseal, a waterbased sealant as well as zero-voc OSI Green Series window and door foam.

Insulated Headers

  • In a typical home headers are simply a few framing members nailed together. This system allows for a cold spot without insulation in the wall system. We used 2.5 inches of DOW rigid foam board in between all headers in order to provide an insulating barrier and improve energy efficiency.

R-20 Cellulose Wall insulation 

  • Cellulose insulation beats fiberglass insulation in all areas. Cellulose insulation is more energy efficient, healthier, and is recycled. The cellulose insulation used in this home contains a minimum of 75% recycled content. Recycled content consists mainly of recycled paper. The cellulose insulation in our 2x6 wall cavities offers an R-20 insulation value.

R-10 DOW Rigid Foam Insulation

  • In addition to the blown-in recycled insulation within our wall cavities we also used 2" of DOW rigid foam board on the exterior of the home. This foam board provides an additional R-10 insulation value and prevents thermal bridging, which is the transfer of temperatures from the exterior of the home to the interior through framing members.

R-60 Cellulose Roof and Ceiling Insulation

  • We also used Cellulose insulation within our ceilings and roofs. The amount of cellulose insulation used within the eco-smart home equates to an R-60 insulation value. R-10 rigid foam board was used on a number of vaulted ceilings as well to provide further insulating value.

R-5 DOW Rigid Foam Insulation on Garage Walls

  • The Garage was another important aspect of the home. Ideally the garage at DJK's eco-smart home will maintain a temperature of about 50 degrees throughout the winter months. In order to maintain the garage temperature DJK used an R-5 rigid insulation on the exterior walls as well as a R-20 blown-in cellulose insulation within the wall cavities.

Takagi T-H3-DV Tankless Water Heater

  • The DJK eco-smart home features an Energy Star Takagi tankless water heater that is set up to be incorporated as a future component to a solar water heating system. This tankless water heater is designed to only run when there is a demand for hot water such as a shower being turned on.

R-5 Plumbing Pipe Insulation

  • All hot water pipes in this home were insulated with a blown in cellulosed insulation. This prevents heat loss while hot water travels through the plumbing locations to a shower or faucet. The cellulose insulation also acts as a sound deadening agent which will quite down drain pipes.

Therma-Tru Rustic Series Insulated Exterior Doors

  • The exterior doors used in this home are part of the Therma-tru rustic series doors. The entry doors are fiberglass units but look just like wood once stained. The benefit of these doors are very low maintenance as well as built in insulation. The doors installed in the eco-smart home are Energy Star Qualified.

Velux Solar Skylight & Suntunnels

  • Velux skylights were incorporated into the design of the eco-smart home in two locations; the screen room and the master bathroom. The Velux skylights allow light to filter into the room and also open for a breeze. A Velux solar skylight was installed in the master bathroom to allow natural light to enter the room, avoiding the need to flip a switch. Suntunnels were incorporated in several other bathrooms. Velux Suntunnels mount on the roof and allow natural light to filter in to a room.

Direct Vent Fireplaces

  • Heat-N-Glo direct vent fireplaces were installed in this home in lieu of the traditional masonry fireplace. The direct vent fireplace is highly energy efficient and eliminates cold spots found with traditional masonry fireplaces.