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Solar panels heat the pool, which heats the house.

Solar panels heat the pool, which heats the house

When they scaled down from a large family house to a smaller two-person version, Jeannette and Will Koch regretted having to leave their swimming pool behind. So they liked architect George Sheldon's suggestion to included an indoor pool in their new house plans.

They wanted to be able to heat pool water at least partly with energy collected by solar roof panels. Sheldon carried the solar idea a step further. After helping to find a property sloping south and west-- providing excellent exposure to the sun-- he planned the two-story, 1,600-square-foot house around the pool.

When the house was built in 1981, panels for the 10,000-gallon, 15-foot-square pool added $7,000 to building costs, but the Kochs received a Federal Energy Conservation tax credit.

Warmed to 85| or 90|, pool water is the major heat source for the house. The pool is open to the living room and kitchen; a pine-faced partial partition separates it from the study.

Double glazing on windows throughout the house, good cross-ventilation, and a power-operated pool cover that rolls up underneath the study all help to keep condensation to a minimum. As a backup, the Kochs have a dehumidifier in the hall behind the study.

The Kochs swim every day throughout the year, and even in western Oregon's cloudy climate, the house stays comfortably between 68| and 72|. The owners rarely turn on their heat pump for either heating or cooling, and their monthly electric bill averages just $50.

Photo: Indoor pool with water warmed by solar roof panels is main heat source for hillside house near Portland
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Date:Oct 1, 1984
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