Energy conservation is a regular conversation for the residents of the OHIO Ecohouse. Personal investments in behavior changes and institutional investments in alternative energy are frequent topics during Ecohouse seminars. Residents are actively aware of their use of lighting, heating and appliances; they are careful to unplug electronic items when not in use; they set the thermostat under 68 degrees during the winter; and, they weigh their overall consumption choices carefully. Many technologies in the house focus on a reduction in energy consumption. For example, the on-demand tankless water heater uses gas to heat up water in the winter if the solar does not reach 110 degrees.
Residents of the Ecohouse are uniquely poised to regularly track their energy usage through the Ohio University Building Dashboard. This dashboard displays electricity consumed by the university in real time, and allows the user to compare OHIO Ecohouse consumption to the university as a whole. Historical data is also made available so users can compare weekly, monthly or annual changes in energy consumption.
The thermostat in the Ecohouse is programmable so that the house is heated or cooled only when the residents are home. This thermostat saves energy because it eliminates unnecessary use of the furnace and air conditioning.
Whole House Fan
During the renovation process, the house received baffles, roof vents and an attic fan to take care of problematic air flow issues. The fan removes very hot air from the attic which eliminates the need for air conditioning.
Ecohouse has been insulated with Nu-Wool blown cellulose and R19 in the attic, sidewalls, crawl space, and basement walls, which has increased efficiency significantly.