“There are a lot of people in the Residential Energy Efficiency field who talk about treating the home as a system. However, when asked who is responsible for the homes envelope, all the Energy Auditors and HVAC Technicians, I know, point at the other group. As further proof that no one is taking responsibility; less than 1% of the homes we have tested have HVAC equipment with outputs that are within 15% of the actual load presented by the home.
Ryan Rex is one of the few visionaries, in the industry. He realizes the way we now promote residential energy efficiency is very counterproductive.
He realizes the homes envelope needs to be evaluated way in advance of any anticipated HVAC replacement. The envelopes energy efficiency can then be compared to homes in the neighborhood, to those in like Design temperature areas and all other previously tested homes across the country. If the home’s envelope is below average, retrofit work needs to be performed. After the retrofit, the homes envelope efficiency needs to be measured again; this will provide the exact percentage of efficiency gained by the envelope work and even more importantly, provide the precise sizing requirements for any replacement HVAC equipment. Potential savings from energy efficiency measures are often analyzed using energy simulation software; this is just not accurate enough to take advantage of all the possible savings.
The advantages of precisely matching HVAC equipment to the actual load (within 15%):
- Energy savings of 3%-10% (per DOE)
- Lowers the purchase cost of HVAC equipment
- Increased comfort in home(can usually remedy hard to heat/cool areas)
- Existing duct system will probably now be adequately sized
- Longer life expectancy of HVAC equipment with fewer repairs
- Precision sizing is needed to get the full potential out of multiple speed equipment
Ryan realizes there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we now try to promote residential energy efficiency. In spite of all the money that Government, Utilities and homeowners have spent to improve residential energy efficiency, there has been very little progress made in the existing home arena.
Ryan is one of the people who will lead the residential energy efficiency effort forward.”