Low-Load Space Conditioning Needs Assessment

Timothy Merrigan, S. Puttagunta, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


With limited low-load options in the HVAC market, many new-construction housing units are being fitted with oversized equipment - thus facing penalties in system efficiency, comfort, and cost. To bridge the gap between currently available HVAC equipment and the rising demand for low-load HVAC equipment in the marketplace, HVAC equipment manufacturers need to be fully aware of multifamily townhouse). In total, design loads from 941 dwellings from SWA's recent multifamily and attached single-family work across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic were analyzed. Information on the dwelling characteristics, design loads, and the specifications of installed mechanical equipment were analyzed to determine any trends that exist within the dataset. Of the 941 dwellings, CARB found that only 1% had right-sized heating equipment and 6% of the dwellings had right-sized cooling equipment (within 25% or less of design load).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, Connecticut

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-64206

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102015-4670


  • air source heat pumps
  • all-electric hvac options
  • Building America
  • consortium for advanced residential buildings
  • construction type
  • cooling capacity
  • cooling loads
  • dwellings
  • equipment selection
  • heating capacity
  • heating loads
  • HVAC
  • low-load
  • multifamily
  • over-sized
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • right-sized
  • space conditioning loads
  • Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
  • SWA


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