Texas Field Experiment Results: Performance of the Weatherization Assistance Program in Hot-Climate, Low-Income Homes

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A field test involving 35 houses was performed in Texas between 2000 and 2003 to study the response of low-income homes in hot climates to weatherization performed as part of the U.S Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program and to investigate certain methods to improve weatherization performance. The study found that improved Program designs and the use of advanced energy audits resulted in better weatherization measures being installed (use of blower doors to guide the infiltration work, more frequent installation of attic insulation, and installation of wall insulation) in the study homes, improved space-heating savings performance compared to the Program ... continued below

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McCold, Lance Neil; Goeltz, Rick; Ternes, Mark P & Berry, Linda G April 1, 2008.

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A field test involving 35 houses was performed in Texas between 2000 and 2003 to study the response of low-income homes in hot climates to weatherization performed as part of the U.S Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program and to investigate certain methods to improve weatherization performance. The study found that improved Program designs and the use of advanced energy audits resulted in better weatherization measures being installed (use of blower doors to guide the infiltration work, more frequent installation of attic insulation, and installation of wall insulation) in the study homes, improved space-heating savings performance compared to the Program as implemented in the hot climates in 1989, and more comfortable indoor temperatures. Two key policy dilemmas for Texas and other hot-climate states were highlighted by the study; namely, how to balance expenditures between installing cost-effective weatherization measures and performing health, safety, and repair items, and that health, safety, and repair items can have an adverse impact on energy savings, which further complicates the weatherization decision process. Several occupant and equipment-related behaviors were observed in the field test homes that help explain why audits may over predict energy consumptions and savings and why air-conditioning electricity savings are difficult to measure. Based on this study, it is recommended that states in hot climates be encouraged to select from an expanded list of measures using advanced audits or other techniques, and further studies examining the benefits obtained from air conditioner measures should be performed. In addition, guidelines should be developed for the hot-climate states on how to (a) balance the objectives of saving energy, improving health and safety, and addressing repair issues, and (b) select repair items.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2008/050
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/932648 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 932648
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893867

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • April 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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McCold, Lance Neil; Goeltz, Rick; Ternes, Mark P & Berry, Linda G. Texas Field Experiment Results: Performance of the Weatherization Assistance Program in Hot-Climate, Low-Income Homes, report, April 1, 2008; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893867/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.