Newest dream-home must-haves: Majestic boilers and designer pipes...
No longer exiled to dank basements, high-efficiency — and high-design — heating and cooling equipment has become something homeowners show off.
By Gwendolyn Bounds of The Wall Street Journal
In June, Peter and Sara Starr gave dinner guests a tour of their new Bayside, Calif., home. There’s the designer kitchen fitted with free-standing ergonomic furniture, and the valley views, complete with majestic redwoods. But the pièce de résistance sits just off the living room: a 100-square-foot nook otherwise known as the boiler room.
Inside hums the heart of about $70,000 in state-of-the-art heating and electrical equipment. Rooftop solar panels feed a sleek hot-water tank and an array of batteries storing electricity and feeding excess power back to the grid. Hanging nearby, a petite black boiler provides radiant heat while hundreds of feet of copper piping snake outward, delivering warmth and water to the 1,800-square-foot house.
“It looks like the 'Star Trek' Enterprise,” says Peter Starr, 61. “It’s really a little focal point and a sign of pride.”
Say goodbye to the scary room, that dank, dark spot where boilers and water heaters work among the spiders, with human visits taking place only when something — "Honey, there’s no hot water!" — goes wrong. As homeowners begin to in renewable energy and other high-efficiency equipment, some are spiffing up the mechanical room and, in some cases, trying to make the air conditioner a showpiece. (Bing: Federal tax credits for energy efficiency)
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml