Your Green Life: "Energy Efficiency Program WITC"

By KBJR News 1

December 13, 2012 Updated Dec 14, 2012 at 7:21 AM CDT

Superior, WI
The students at WITC are getting some hands on experience in renovating a home to be more energy efficient. But before they could get their hands working on the real house, a scale model was built.

"We get an understanding of the systems here, but we actually get to apply and see them at our lab house." Said Matt Underdahl, a 2nd year student at Wisconsin Indian Technical College.

Having a small scale house to look at will help avoid construction problems in the future. Underdahl hopes that someday with his new knowledge of energy efficiency, that he can become an energy auditor.

"Well an energy audit is where we go into a home and we asses problem areas, we look at it as a whole, and possibly see where there's places for improvement. " Said Underdahl.

There is a lot more to energy efficiency than just insulating the house, and to show exactly where the cold air is coming in, we need some special technology. The students have access to state of the art technology, such as inferred imagery, to help them find where the cold air is coming in.

Duane Lasley, the Building Performance Technician Professor at WITC, said "We use the technology, we use this equipment to analyze the house and we learn to see things that you cant see with out the equipment."

We then depressurized the house, to simulate winds, and found all the leaky spots where air was coming in.

"Moving air or moving water is the most efficient way to transfer energy. Hence its also the most efficient way to lose energy." Said Lasley.

When this house is all done it will be one of the most energy efficient houses on the block. But the house is also a community project as almost all of the materials have been donated.

"The schedule for finishing the house really depends on student enrolment and donations were able to get from the community." said Lasley.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch