Parker, Danny; Cummings, James
The Vacant Home Space Conditioning Study was sponsored by Florida Power & Light (FPL) as part of its Conservation R&D Program and carried out by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). In the US, about one in four retiree "snowbirds" make Florida their destination to escape the northern cold. Snowbird residents number more than 900,000 in Florida during the winter. In some counties of FPL's territory these seasonal residents compose up to 15% of the population (Shih, 1981). This pattern of seasonal occupancy creates a need for space conditioning guidelines for vacant homes to avoid mold problems while minimizing both customer energy usage and electrical load during utility peak hours.
Three homes on Florida's east coast in Brevard County were equipped with monitoring equipment for this experiment. The first was a 45-year-old 1,100 ft2 single-story, painted concrete block home on a concrete slab with a low pitch tar and gravel roof. The second house was a 40-year-old 1,950 ft2 split-level home, with block and frame construction. The third home was a 900 ft2 single-wide mobile home manufactured in 1984. Nearly 10% of FPL's residential customers live in manufactured homes including a sizable seasonal resident population. All three test-homes had 2.5-ton central air conditioning (AC) systems with heat pump, gas, and electric strip heating, respectively.
Florida Solar Energy Center and Withers, Jr., Charles, "Executive Summary: Evaluation Of The Impact Of Vacant Home Space Conditioning Strategies On Summer Relative Humidity, Energy, And Peak Load" (2005). FSEC Energy Research Center®. 529.