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Title: Homeowner Best Practices Guide for Residential Retrofits

Abstract

This best practices guide for HV AC system retrofits is aimed at homeowners who want guidance on upgrading their heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) systems and integrating these upgrades with other changes to their home. It has been developed around the idea of having packages of changes to the building HV AC system and building envelope that are climate and house construction dependent. These packages include materials procedures and equipment, and are designed to remove some of the guesswork when selecting a builder, contractor, or installer. The packages are not meant to be taken as rigid requirements - instead they are systems engineered guidelines that form the basis for energy efficient retrofits. Similar approaches have been taken previously for new construction, where a systems engineering approach has been used to develop extremely energy-efficient homes that are comfortable safe and durable, and often cost less than standard construction. This approach is best epitomized by the Building America program, whose partners have built thousands of residences throughout the U.S. using these principles. The differences between retrofitting and new construction tend to limit the changes one can make to a building, so these packages rely on relatively simple and non-intrusive technologies and techniques.more » The retrofits also focus on changes to a building that will give many years of service to the occupants. Another key aspect of these best practices is that we need to know how a house is working so that we know what parts have the potential for improvement. To do this we have put together a set of simple tests that a homeowner can perform on their own together with checklists and questionnaires. The measured test results, observations and homeowner answers to questions are used to direct us towards the best retrofits applicable to each individual house. The retrofits will depend on the current condition of the building envelope and HV AC system, the local climate, the construction methods used for the house, and the presence of existing energy saving systems and/or materials. This is just like a doctor referring a patient for blood tests or x-rays before actually performing surgery. This way the doctor can be sure that he does the right thing. To take this analogy further - we can borrow from the medical profession and say that the first thought when retrofitting a house is to do no harm, i.e., do not make changes that could make the house worse to live in.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Environmental Energy Technologies Division
OSTI Identifier:
1010619
Report Number(s):
LBNL-57287
TRN: US201109%%43
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54; AC SYSTEMS; CLIMATES; CONSTRUCTION; COOLING; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; HEATING; HVAC SYSTEMS; OCCUPANTS; RECOMMENDATIONS; RETROFITTING; VENTILATION

Citation Formats

Walker, Iain S. Homeowner Best Practices Guide for Residential Retrofits. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/1010619.
Walker, Iain S. Homeowner Best Practices Guide for Residential Retrofits. United States. doi:10.2172/1010619.
Walker, Iain S. Thu . "Homeowner Best Practices Guide for Residential Retrofits". United States. doi:10.2172/1010619. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1010619.
@article{osti_1010619,
title = {Homeowner Best Practices Guide for Residential Retrofits},
author = {Walker, Iain S},
abstractNote = {This best practices guide for HV AC system retrofits is aimed at homeowners who want guidance on upgrading their heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) systems and integrating these upgrades with other changes to their home. It has been developed around the idea of having packages of changes to the building HV AC system and building envelope that are climate and house construction dependent. These packages include materials procedures and equipment, and are designed to remove some of the guesswork when selecting a builder, contractor, or installer. The packages are not meant to be taken as rigid requirements - instead they are systems engineered guidelines that form the basis for energy efficient retrofits. Similar approaches have been taken previously for new construction, where a systems engineering approach has been used to develop extremely energy-efficient homes that are comfortable safe and durable, and often cost less than standard construction. This approach is best epitomized by the Building America program, whose partners have built thousands of residences throughout the U.S. using these principles. The differences between retrofitting and new construction tend to limit the changes one can make to a building, so these packages rely on relatively simple and non-intrusive technologies and techniques. The retrofits also focus on changes to a building that will give many years of service to the occupants. Another key aspect of these best practices is that we need to know how a house is working so that we know what parts have the potential for improvement. To do this we have put together a set of simple tests that a homeowner can perform on their own together with checklists and questionnaires. The measured test results, observations and homeowner answers to questions are used to direct us towards the best retrofits applicable to each individual house. The retrofits will depend on the current condition of the building envelope and HV AC system, the local climate, the construction methods used for the house, and the presence of existing energy saving systems and/or materials. This is just like a doctor referring a patient for blood tests or x-rays before actually performing surgery. This way the doctor can be sure that he does the right thing. To take this analogy further - we can borrow from the medical profession and say that the first thought when retrofitting a house is to do no harm, i.e., do not make changes that could make the house worse to live in.},
doi = {10.2172/1010619},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {9}
}