Crew members Slavko Nisevic (lead installer, left) and Juan Polanco
(installation helper) were trained on the new technology.
“This is a remarkable technology,”
Riley says. “Once AHRI gets a handle
on how to confirm its efficiency, and if
tax credits become available, it should
really start grabbing hold.”
After talking with Foley upon Riley’s
recommendation, Lorraine hired Foley
to review proposals. But the jobsite was
almost two hours away from Foley’s
office. “After awhile, it just made sense
for us to do the job ourselves,” he says.
So Foley and one of his employees took
a two-day training course on the sys-
tem and then it was off to the field to
embark upon the learning curve.
encouraged homeowners to install the
technology. The Horbaly home ended
up being one of the first on the East
Coast to employ this technology.
Lorraine was referred to Dan Foley
by Jeff Riley, HVAC sales and product
manager for the Thos. Somerville Co.,
a distribution company headquartered
in Upper Marlboro, Md., who has
worked with Foley for many years.
“I got a call from Lorraine one day
last summer and she was going on
about the Daikin Altherma and how
she had learned about it from David
Knight out in California,” Riley says.
“I actually had to stop her and tell
her that I had never even heard of the
Altherma — and we’re a Daikin dis-
tributor! That’s how cutting edge she
was in her research.”
Riley quickly got up-to-speed on the
new technology and Thos. Somerville
Co. eventually became one of a hand-
ful of distributors in the United States
to begin distributing the Altherma
units over the past year. At the time of
this writing, Daikin was preparing for
a nationwide rollout.
HOW IT WORKS
The Altherma extracts heat as energy
from the outside air. Energy is transferred through refrigerant piping to
a Hydrobox, which heats the water
(or cools it during summer) and then
circulates it through low-temperature
radiators, floor radiant heat or fan coil
units. Inverter compressor technology
adjusts the speed of the compressor to
suit the heating or cooling demand.
Therefore, the system rarely operates
at full capacity, and consumes only the
energy actually needed.
Lorraine’s research indicated that
the Altherma, because of its inverter
technology, will be able to get 66 to
80% of its energy from the outside air.
“So for every one kilowatt of electricity
consumed, it generates three to five
kilowatts of heat or air conditioning —
that’s a good return on investment.”
“The house has a super-high-per-
forming envelope,” Foley says. “There