Pecan Street’s new analysis compares cooling loads of homes in Austin, TX and Ithaca, NY.
Understanding how building characteristics, cooling technology, behavior and climate affect cooling loads will help optimize cooling loads and reduce emissions and stress on the electric grid.
Pecan Street directly measures individual circuits in homes across the country. We performed a regression analysis between the average sample HVAC load in each location and the outside air temperature. Regressions between cooling load and building characteristics, thermostat setpoints and irradiance are also shown in the tool below.
The relationships between all of these variables can be explored by toggling between different groups of home sizes and ages and observing differences in the scatter plot trends. Not all homes in the sample have size, age or thermostat setpoint data, so the sample size varies based on the selection. Overall, the comparison shows that cooling loads in Austin are higher than in Ithaca even when the outside air temperature is the same. This is likely due to building characteristics – homes in Ithaca have more insulation – and regional cooling capacity differences – Ithaca homes have more window AC units and less of their total home square footage conditioned.