Secondary Author(s)

Sherwin, John; Floyd, David

Report Number




HVAC; Buildings; Heating; Water Heating; Retrofits


The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is metering energy use in a Habitat for Humanity housing development. The objective is to understand the way in which energy is used in low income housing and how it can be effectively reduced.

The ten homes come from a conventional housing project built by in 1993 Habitat for Humanity in Homestead, Florida. The instrumentation was installed in the homes in July of 1994 with over three years of 15-minute data collected on all sites. Data were obtained on seven electrical end-uses (air conditioning, heating, hot water, dryer, range, refrigerator, washer/freezer) as well as total. Weather conditions were also monitored as well as interior comfort conditions (temperature and humidity) and hot water consumption and window ventilation status. Baseline field data from a year of monitoring from the ten homes allowed unique insight into how energy is used in low income housing and suggested where consumption might be reduced.

In April of 1997, a series of detailed retrofits were applied to eight of the ten Habitat homes. These included solar water heaters installed in seven homes. In eight homes we retrofit light fixtures to compact fluorescent types, repaired and sealed duct air distribution systems, cleaned refrigerator coils and installed low-flow showerheads. Since each of he associated energy end-uses (including hot water consumption) is metered, we are able to assess the relative performance of each of the retrofits. We also measured of air conditioner performance and house tightness. These audits revealed numerous problems, but low-evaporator coil air flow was discovered in all homes. The paper describes the retrofit installation, audit data collected and the impact on measured energy consumption. Preliminary economics are explored.

Date Published



Reference Publication: Parker, D., Sherwin, J., Floyd, D., "Measured Energy Savings From Retrofits Installed In Low-­Income Housing In A Hot and Humid Climate," Presented at the 11th Symposium on Improving Building Systems in Hot and Humid Climates, Fort Worth, TX, June 1 and 2, 1998.

Local Subjects

Heating; Buildings - HVAC; Buildings - Retrofits; Water Heating


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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