Welcome to
The CHERP Network:

Driving Energy Efficiency
and Economic Recovery

Case Study: Dependable Heating

Before the Assessment:Home Energy Audit Huntington Beach

The homeowners of this one-story, 1,425-square-foot home complained that their house "used to be so cold - we just could not get comfortable - and the utility bills were high! With our old heating and cooling system, everyone in the house (and probably our neighbors as well) knew when the system was running."

Retrofit highlights:

The existing furnace was replaced with a hydronic heating system; the old A/C was replaced with a smaller unit; new R-8 ducts replaced the old ducts; insulation was added to the walls and attic, and lighting was upgraded to more efficient bulbs.

After the retrofit:

In the two months following the retrofit, the home's electric bill dropped 35% and 48% from the previous year, and the gas bill dropped 37% and 15%. The homeowner commented:

"We are so pleased with the new heating/cooling system. Since I was not able to get home from work until the workers had left the house for the day, I didn't know that the heater was up and functioning. I looked at the keypad and saw 70 degrees. The next morning I woke up and it still said 70 degrees, while the night before the temperature had dropped to 62 degrees overnight. I finally realized that the system must already be on, even though I had not heard any sounds coming from the unit."

The results:

  Before Retrofit After Retrofit
Duct Leakage 287 CFM25 10 CFM25
Air Leakage 2587 CFM50 1196 CFM50
AC Size 3 Tons 1.5 Tons
Furnace Size 88,000 BTUs 36,000 BTUs
Attic Insulation R-22 R-38
Wall Insulation R-3 R-13
Duct Insulation R-4.2 R-20
Windows R-3 R-3