The Famous "Sleeper House" Gets a Futuristic New HVAC System with KNIGHT

Case Studies

by Lochinvar Marketing Dept. | 01/03/2013

The home’s current owner, Larry Winkler, purchased the 7,500 square foot structure in 2010. After realizing that it was operating incredibly inefficiently and losing up to 60 percent of its heat every hour, he decided to transform it into an energy-efficient smart home. Now, not only does the remote-controlled house coordinate its lighting, A/V and security systems from flat screen TVs in a state-of-the-art utility room, it also uses the same technological approach for its boiler system.

A State-of-the-Art System for a Spaceship-Shaped Home
Winkler hired Mark Eatherton of Mark Eatherton & Associates in Denver, to modernize the spaceship-shaped home’s boiler system and improve its insulation. Eatherton found that the original system was undersized by approximately 50 percent in terms of Btu/hr, resulting in the system’s inability to provide adequate heat for the expansive house when outside air temperatures dropped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Eatherton chose to install two 285,000 Btu/hr KNIGHT Wall Mount Heating Boilers to increase the system capacity as well as its efficiency. The fully modulating KNIGHT adjusts heat output according to demand, offering up to 99 percent thermal efficiency. The two KNIGHTs service sixteen different radiant loads: 11 zones of baseboard heat emitters, four zones of radiant in-floor heating, and one snow melt zone servicing the driveway. The KNIGHT’s SMART SYSTEM operating control features three set point temperature inputs, all of which are utilized to exact efficiency.  

After installing the new system, Eatherton and his team had to make a transition within a day to avoid freezing and breaking the pipes. “It was crisis management at its finest,” stated Eatherton.

With his advanced new system, Winkler can monitor the temperature of the boilers, outside air and domestic hot water from an LED TV in his Star Trek-style “command center.” The SMART SYSTEM software, which is installed on a dedicated PC connected to the TV, provides graphs with minute-by-minute data and allows for reprogramming of boiler setpoints. Winkler also has the system programmed to send an alarm to his smart phone should any issues arise with the boilers. 

According to Eatherton, “This past winter was extremely mild and the house was under construction, so while comfort in the home increased significantly, we haven’t gotten an accurate read on the fuel bill savings yet. However, with all of the improvements made to the house, I expect to see a decrease in energy consumption of up to 30 to 40 percent this winter.”