WeatherShield Homes Tour Friday Nov 20th, 2021
Hugh had the awesome opportunity to go to a HUG Hydronics system install on Friday. Neal at Weathershield Homes invited us to tour the newest home he is building in Nisswa, MN that he hopes to sell next spring.
Neal did everything right when it comes to energy efficiency. The house was positioned carefully, sheltered from the north wind and had full exposure on the south. It has 17k of solar photovoltaic panels on the roof to take full advantage of its exposure.
All the trees and brush that were taken down to build the house were put in a shallow pit, designed to break down into a perfect garden plot, and then covered with some rich dirt they took out of the pond and dried.
Mini Split Air Heat Exchanger
The other interesting thing on the outside was what is called a “Mini-split.” It turns out a mini-split is an air heat pump (notice how small that is?) that has an outside unit and an inside unit, connected by a pipe. The inside unit was put high in the kitchen and poured warm air over us.
Neal uses the classic combination of a mini-split with in-floor heating for warm hands and feet. Our team helped Neal connect the garage thermostat to the HUG Hydronics unit and turn it on. We connected the garage thermostat as #4 so it could be set as a low priority zone and only heat after the house is nice and toasty.
HUG Hydronics Unit Install
The house is a modest 3-bedroom, 2 bath, with an open living/dining/kitchen area. The master bath is situated to catch the evening sun set. In the master bath, we were able to see that the floor was laid with 4 “ of pink foam and another 4” of concrete. And the walls were a foot thick, made from Insulated Concrete Forms. “It’s tornado proof” says Neal. “I don’t know why more people don’t build them this way. All these energy efficiencies don’t cost any more than a normal home.”