Bartlesville Couple Saves Big With Energy Efficient Home

Tuesday, September 29th 2009, 5:21 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, OK -- How energy efficient could your home be if you started from scratch?

Two years ago, The News On 6 visited the home of Jim and Sara Wingard in Bartlesville. Their goal was to be as energy efficient as they could be, and now they say it is paying off big time.

10/10/2007  Related Story: Couple Building Energy Efficient Dream Home

The brick home southwest of Bartlesville may be the most energy efficient home in the Midwest.

"We don't wear shoes in the house," said Jim Wingard, homeowner.

The reason is because it helps keep it clean. If you don't bring dust in, there won't be any. The house is air tight and incoming air is filtered.

"We spent one year designing and researching," said Wingard.

Two years ago, The News On 6 visited during construction. You can see some of the things they have added. They installed geothermal heating and cooling, foam panels on the outside walls, spray on foam in the attic act like a cocoon, hi-tech windows and roof.

"That roof has been rated at 120, been tested to 140," said Wingard. "That's miles per hour.

"These windows are rated at 2400 PSI. You are not gonna have something come through those windows."

The walls are more than a foot thick. He says he has built a bunker. They've lived in it for a little more than a year and have had to tweak some things. They found some air leaks around one of the windows and in the attic.

Wingard also added insulation to the solar water pipes coming into the house. All of that, and everything else they've done, has reduced electrical use. The electric bill for the 7,000 square foot home is averaging $85 dollars a month.

"It's probably going to go down into the seventies," said Wingard.

The inside temperature of 74 degrees is perfect for walking in your stocking feet.

Wingard said the energy efficient add-ons probably increased construction costs by 25 percent, but he says they are worth it in the long run.