Building America Indoor Temperature and Humidity Measurement Protocol

P. Norton

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


When modeling homes using simulation tools, the heating and cooling set points can have a significant impact on home energy use. Every 4 years the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) asks homeowners about their heating and cooling set points. Unfortunately, no temperature data is measured, and most of the time, the homeowner may be guessing at this number. Even one degree Fahrenheit difference in heating set point can make a 5% difference in heating energy use! So, the survey-based RECS data cannot be used as the definitive reference for the set point for the 'average occupant' in simulations. The purpose of this document is to develop a protocol for collecting consistent data for heating/cooling set points and relative humidity so that an average set point can be determined for asset energy models in residential buildings. This document covers the decision making process for researchers to determine how many sensors should be placed in each home, where to put those sensors, and what kind of asset data should be taken while they are in the home. The authors attempted to design the protocols to maximize the value of this study and minimize the resources required to achieve that value.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages43
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-61040


  • Building America
  • Building America
  • climates
  • data collection
  • house simulation protocol (HSP)
  • humidity
  • indoor humidity
  • indoor temperature
  • indoor temperature protocol
  • NREL
  • protocols
  • residential
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • temperature
  • temperature study


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