Heating and Cooling

System Design

SunTerra EnergyBlock construction totally changes our past paradigm of how we viewed heating and cooling systems need in buildings. The size of heating and cooling equipment can be reduced for three reasons.

  1. The insulation value and air infiltration reduction of this wall system is superior, reducing the required heating and cooling in general for the structure.
  2. The high-mass construction averages out the high and low temperature variation through the day allowing to reduce the minimum and maximum design temperatures for sizing the heating and cooling equipment. For example: With light wood frame construction if the winter low design temperature is 5°F you calculate the building heat loss at 5°F and size your heating equipment accordingly. With the incorporation of high-mass construction you can take into effect the average day /night temperature raising the 5°F design temperature, reducing maximum heat loss and reducing the size required for the heating equipment. The same principles apply for the cooling equipment sizing.
  3. Because of the major reduction in building heating required and the comfort added by the high-mass exterior wall system the complexity of the heating and cooling distribution system can be reduced.
  4. Take advantage of off-peak electrical utility rates. Heat the building when daily electric rates are low and store the heat energy in the thermal battery to be used during the expensive electrical rate time of day.
Simple Heating and Cooling System Mini-Split Heatpump

These concrete block homes are being built with a one location ductless heat pump and an air distribution system tied into the heat recovery ventilator providing adequate comfort in all of the rooms. This eliminates the need for those large noisy heat/cooling ducts.

These SunTerra EnergyBlock high-thermal mass home designs can utilize wood-burning airtight stoves very effectively. The mass absorbs the heat from the stove, not overheating the room, distributing it throughout the house and discharging it back at night. You awake to a home that is still comfortable from the heat stored the evening before.

It’s good to simplify, save money, and be comfortable in the process.