Veteran’s sacrifice honored with a custom Smart Home

FORT WAYNE, IND. – WaterFurnace Intl. Inc., a manufacturer of residential and commercial geothermal equipment, is donating a complete Synergy3D residential geothermal system for a new Smart Home in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., for Marine Corporal Todd Nicely, one of three surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost both arms and legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2010.

After learning that the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation was building a home to honor Nicely, Art Carlo, WaterFurnace distribution manager and a former Marine, immediately wanted to help.

“I called WaterFurnace President Tom Huntington about donating a complete geothermal system and he jumped on board,” Carlo said.

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WaterFurnace dealers Rehagen HVAC and Comfort Care Heating & Cooling will donate the labor to install Nicely’s HVAC and plumbing system; Rehagen will provide ductwork as well.

"We are excited to have WaterFurnace participating in our Homes for the Bravest program,” said Frank Siller, Tunnel to Towers Chairman stated. “We are truly appreciative of their generosity in providing a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system that will greatly increase Todd's quality of life."

The 2,800-sq.ft. Smart Home, located in the Four Seasons development on Osage Beach, will be completely handicap accessible, with wider doorways, motorized kitchen cabinets and rooms specifically designed for the unique needs of Nicely.

“Cpl. Nicely will be able to control many features of the home—opening doors, turning on lights — with simply his voice, iPad or his iPhone,” Carlo said.

“The only thing that Cpl. Nicely wanted in his new home was a ‘man cave’ on the lower level of the house,” said Carlo. “Since he’ll be spending a lot of time there, we recommended radiant heating to make it as comfortable as possible.”

Radiant heat (hydronic) is widely regarded as the most comfortable way of heating while forced air is typically the most cost effective. The Synergy3D series provides both radiant heat for basement and bathroom floors and traditional forced air heating and cooling for the rest of the home. One piece of equipment takes the place of a traditional hot-water heater, fossil fuel furnace and air conditioner.

A geothermal home comfort system taps into the solar heat energy stored in the earth. Using a series of underground pipes, the system moves that heat into a home during the winter and removes it during the summer.

This same heat energy can be used for a radiant floor system or domestic hot water heating. Once installed, the system significantly reduces energy consumption, saving homeowners between 40% and 70% on heating and cooling bills throughout the year.

According to Carlo, the geothermal system complements the house’s advanced automation systems.

“Geothermal is the smartest thing you can put in a smart home,” he said. “Cpl. Nicely will enjoy the incredible comfort geothermal provides and see significant savings on his utility bills. He deserves it.”

The groundbreaking for the new Nicely home was held Wednesday, Oct. 26, and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation expects the home to be complete by Memorial Day 2012.

TAGS: Geothermal