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Library

This library contains research reports produced by the Building America program and other building science resources used to support this Solution Center. The materials cover both new construction and existing homes. Use the search box and/or the filters to explore hundreds of residential building resources. Access to some references not produced by Building America may require purchase from the publisher. Documents are listed alphabetically. While we continually update our database, links may have changed since posting. Please contact our webmaster if you find broken links.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: December, 2010

Factsheet describing the importance of system charging, superheat and subcooling.

Author(s): Dentz, Ansanelli
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: January, 2015

In this project aimed to better understand the current usage of TRVs by key market players in steam and hot water heating and to conduct limited experiments on the effectiveness of new and old TRVs as a means of controlling space temperatures and reducing heating fuel consumption.

Author(s): McNamara
Organization(s): NYSERDA
Publication Date: December, 1995
This report describes the results of a multiyear research project that investigated the energy savings attributable to thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) installed on one-pipe steam distribution systems.
Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): ACCA
Publication Date: January, 2010

The Technician's Guide equips practitioners with the knowledge to properly implement all of the measurement procedures required in the HVAC QI Specification.

Author(s): Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Document on the development of two simple in-home efficiency test methods that can be used by technicians, researchers, or interested homeowners to verify the correct operation and energy efficiency of a homes air conditioning and heating equipment.

Author(s): Williamson, Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: September, 2013

Report providing performance results of a home's heat pump water heater and whole-house dehumidifier over a six-month period.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Information sheet offering general recommendations on supplemental humidity control and outlines viable system configurations.

Author(s): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: July, 2013

This document covers a description of the need and applied solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates, especially for energy efficient homes where the sensible cooling load has been dramatically reduced.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: February, 2012

Report describing the equipment selection of a split system air conditioner and furnace for an example house in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a heat pump system for an example house in Orlando, Florida.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2013

This Strategy Guideline covers the pros and cons of compact air distribution systems and the decision criteria that must be considered early in the whole-house design process. 

Author(s): Zoeller
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: March, 2009

Information sheet about buried ducts.

Author(s): Choi, Ludwig, Brand
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: August, 2013
Report about results of 10 test buildings in Chicago, studied to identify best practices for methodology, typical costs, and energy savings associated with steam system balancing.
Author(s): Metzger, Goyl, Baechler
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2017

This research paper outlines residential HVAC advanced controls and sensors. It includes a technology review, applications, maintenance and commissioning, occupant behavior and a summary of the state-of-the-art technologies for advanced controls for residential HVAC.

Author(s): Anesi
Organization(s): Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) News
Publication Date: December, 2014

Article describing how replacing PSC motors with ECMs can boost bottom line and improve customer comfort.

Author(s): Schoenbauer, Bohac, McAlpine, Hewett
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: June, 2017

This project analyzed combined condensing water heaters or boilers and hydronic air coils to provide high efficiency domestic hot water (DHW) and forced air space heating. Called "combi" systems, they provided similar space and water heating performance less expensively than installing two condensing appliances. The system's...

Author(s): Stetcher, Allison
Organization(s): IBACOS, NREL
Publication Date: November, 2012
Report discussing instrumentation methods and field operation characteristics of two GSHPs in test houses, including a comparison between the manufacturers listed COP values and the COPs calculated from field data.
Author(s): Spitler, Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oklahoma State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2010

Paper covering a parametric study of foundation heat exchanger-based ground source heat pump systems for several house configurations in a range of European locations, with an emphasis on determining feasible combinations.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: August, 2010

Presentation providing information about correctly installing ductwork in new and existing homes.

Author(s): Butcher
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: December, 2011
Article investigating how a linear input/output relationship can be used as a simple model of the performance of a combination hydronic heating system over heating only, DHW only, and combined loads.
Author(s): Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Organization(s): Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Publication Date: January, 2007
Report discussing the benefits of modern evaporative cooling systems for use in hot dry climate zones.
Author(s): Siegenthaler
Organization(s): Delmar CENGAGE Learning
Publication Date: January, 2012
Book with indepth information about hydronic systems for residential and commercial buildings.
Author(s): Dentz, Podorson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: May, 2014

This report investigates whether mini-split heat pumps can live up to their potential for one market segment: multifamily retrofits.

Author(s): Johnson
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: September, 2013

Research study outlining results of monitoring a low temperature heat pump.

Author(s): Lsibturek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: January, 2017

Report describing the most cost-effective ventilation and indoor air quality solutions for multifamily homes that meet ASHRAE 62.2-2016. 

Author(s): Springer, Dakin, German
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: April, 2012

The purpose of this measure guideline on ventilation cooling is to provide information on a cost effective solution for reducing cooling system energy and demand in homes located in hot-dry and cold-dry climates.

Author(s): Brand, Rose
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: October, 2012

Document covering installation of high efficiency gas furnaces.

Author(s): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2014

Report providing step-by-step instructions for heating contractors and hydronic designers for selecting the proper control settings to maximize system performance and improve response time when using a thermostat setback.

Author(s): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: May, 2013

Document intended for designers and installers of hydronic heating systems interested in maximizing the overall system efficiency of condensing boilers when coupled with baseboard convectors. It is applicable to new and retrofit projects.

Author(s): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: March, 2017

Report describing the installation and operation of forced-air heating and domestic hot water combi systems in residential homes. 

Author(s): Ueno, Loomis
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation

Report on the long-term performance of mini-split heat pumps.

Author(s): Hart
Organization(s): ASHI Reporter
Publication Date: April, 2009

Article describing how to properly manage condensing HVAC equipment.

Author(s): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Report proposing mini-split heat pumps as a new retrofit option to replace resistance heating in the Pacific Northwest.

Author(s): Walker, Stratton
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California Energy Commission

Guidance on performance of current diagnostics as well as a draft test method for use in future air flow evaluations.

Author(s): Brand, Yee, Baker
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: August, 2013
Report examining the impacts that common installation practices and age- induced equipment degradation may have on the installed performance of natural gas furnaces, as measured by steady-state efficiency and AFUE.
Author(s): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2012

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

Author(s): Holliday, Martin
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2003

Article in Energy Design Update describing the cost and savings benefits of electronically commutated motors (ECMs) for HVAC equipment.

Author(s): Dentz, Henderson
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: April, 2012

Report evaluating the relative effectiveness of various control and distribution strategies to improve hydronic space heating performance in existing low-rise multifamily buildings

Author(s): Raymer, Moyer
Organization(s): Tamarack Technologies, Florida Solar Energy Center
Publication Date: July, 2006

Correcting pressure imbalances in your HVAC system can result in a healthier, more efficient home.

Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: June, 2003
Article describing how to use radiator inlet orifices optimize two-pipe steam heating systems.
Author(s): Butler
Organization(s): Energy Vanguard
Publication Date: January, 2011
Article discussing the advantages of using heat pumps instead of furnaces in high-performance homes.
Author(s): Karr
Organization(s): Washington State University Extension Energy Program
Publication Date: March, 2011

Factsheet describing the uses and benefits of ground-source heat pumps for affordable housing, assisted living, dorms and hotels.

Author(s): Im, Liu, Monk
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2011

Website article discussing the economics of ground source heat pumps.

Author(s): Mittereder, Poerschke
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: November, 2013
Report presenting a cold climate project examining and alternative approach to ground source heat pump ground loop design.
Author(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Organization(s): ORNL
Publication Date: May, 2014

Website with general information about geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps (GSP's).

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: January, 2012

Website with information about ENERGY STAR criteria for geothermal heat pumps.

Author(s): Hughes
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2008

Report investigating the status of the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry and technology in the United States, assembling GHP energy savings potential, identifying key barriers to application of GHPs, and identifying actions that could accelerate adoption of GHPs.

Author(s): Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Article describing a numerical model that can be used to size foundation heat exchanger (FHX) systems.

Author(s): Williamson, Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB
Report on field monitoring of inverter-driven ASHPs in Zone 6-climate homes.
Author(s): Williamson, Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA

Report on field monitoring of inverter-driven ASHPs in cold-climate homes.

Author(s): Christensen, Fang, Tomerlin, Winkler, Hancock
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: March, 2011

Information sheet with an analysis of mini split heat pump systems.

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