Component-Level Analysis of Heating and Cooling Loads in the U.S. Residential Building Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The residential building sector accounts for a substantial portion of total energy consumption in the United States and offers a significant opportunity for energy reduction and decarbonization through improvements in energy efficiency. Heating and air conditioning are the primary contributors to residential energy usage and electricity system peak demand. However, due to the diversity of the housing stock and the complexity of factors affecting heating and cooling demand, identifying the relative contributions to heating and cooling loads poses challenges. To address this, we applied the ResStock analysis tool to simulate 550,000 building energy models, providing statistical representation of residential buildings in the contiguous United States. We introduced outputs that quantified the heating and cooling influence of different components of a home, such as air leakage, envelope components (ceilings, walls, windows, foundations), internal heat gains from people, lighting, plug loads, and duct losses and gains. Leveraging the granularity of ResStock, we present a dataset to enable deeper understanding of the contributors to heating and cooling loads as a function of housing characteristics such as location, envelope efficiency, and building type. This work aims to support prioritization of research and development and informed decision-making for residential building decarbonization.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number113559
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-86567


  • Building simulation
  • Building stock modeling
  • Energy efficiency
  • Heat transfer
  • Residential buildings


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