High-Efficiency Homes


Sept 18, 2019
By: Daniel Beauchemin

Did you know that for every $100 spent on energy, nearly $20 will go to heating water? Now imagine building a high-efficiency home only to find out that out of $100 of energy costs, the cost for heating water is now $50? What went wrong?

Higher efficiency homes
Drain water heat recovery (DWHR) should be strongly considered to address the cost of heating water in high efficiency homes

Sadly and ironically, that $50 of hot water in a new high-efficiency home drains out and with it, the heat energy. So who in their right minds would design a high efficiency home and leave a giant hole in the wall to allow air to flow freely in and out of the home? The open hole in the wall analogy is the simplest way to describe the current high-efficiency home design when it comes to hot water and water heating efficiency.

Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Energy Ready Housing
Table credit: extracted from the Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Energy Ready Housing. Lessons learned and key findings from the ecoEII Net-Zero Demonstration and the R-2000 Net-Zero Energy Pilot. Natural Resources Canada.
Download complete report here

Some ingenious individuals have come across a solution to patch this “open hole in the wall” problem and recover this wasted heat instead of trying to address it with expensive and high maintenance/complicated water heating systems. The solution is quite simple, use a heat exchanger (drain water heat recovery DWHR) to capture that wasted heat and use it to preheat the incoming cold water. The technology is relatively affordable and straightforward. Best of all, it requires no maintenance and has a 50+ year life expectancy. It is also 100% recyclable because it is 100% copper. The longer, more efficient drain water heat recovery units will capture 59% of the wasted energy. That means incoming cold water at 50 °F (10 °C) is preheated using the waste energy from outgoing hot water from a shower to 80 °F (27 °C).

The cost with installation of a high-efficiency ThermoDrain unit is under $1000. ThermoDrain requires no maintenance and will outlast everything found in your mechanical room. Compared this cost to an Energy Star HRV, a high-efficiency furnace or any other high maintenance required items in the home – ThermoDrain is a no brainer as one high-efficiency home builder put it. 

International Builders Show Finalists

Drain Water Heat Recovery Technology Gets Well Deserved Recognition at the IBS

Daniel Beauchemin
September 2019

The drain water heat recovery industry has been facing some challenges, and the latest news has the industry cheering. 

The International Builders Show (IBS), is the largest light construction building industry trade show in the United States. It’s organized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In 2018 the IBS show set a new attendance record with over 70,622 building industry professionals attending. 

In 2017 and 2018, representatives from EcoInnovation Technologies presented the ThermoDrain, drain water heat recovery unit at the IBS show. ThermoDrain was nominated as IBS’s Best Green Building Product. EcoInnovation Technologies had to prove to the judges that their product was worth of finalist or even award-winning. There were over 300 products that were nominated under nine different categories. During both 2017 and 2018 shows, the IBS judges met with the company and were presented with the ThermoDrain product

ThermoDrain had been selected as finalists in both 2017, and 2018 IBS shows out of the possible 300 candidates for each show for Best Green Building Product. Thermodrain was finally recognized internationally amongst its show finalist peers such as RheemWhirlpool and Liftmaster.

Since the 2017 and 2018 IBS shows, drain water continues to grow in recognition for its ability to recover waste heat energy from the shower and use this energy to preheat incoming cold water. The benefits to the homeowner are multiple, including money-saving and more hot water. What is even more surprising is the life expectancy of this technology and the fact it requires no maintenance and is 100 percent recyclable. 

IBS Finalist ThermoDrain
International Building Show IBS Finalist Best Green Building Product Drain Water Heat Recovery Unit Thermodrain demo

80 Renewable Energy Statistics (Infographic)

Even if you’re a climate change denier, the fact that the world needs to move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy options shouldn’t be a matter of debate for you. Conventional energy sources like coal and oil are in limited supply and over-dependence on them can lead to major crises in the near future.

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