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Buildings and Their Systems
Energy modeling determines the heat gain into a house and then we can determine how much heating and cooling we need to offset the gains. All the models need a bunch of data including:
What the models do not do
The models do not need or account for room pressures or static pressure. Studies in Phoenix have shown a 10% cooling (only) reduction when jump ducts were installed in rooms with high room pressure. The models do not model radiant barrier savings (DOE says $0.03 per sq ft of attic space) or air barrier and misalignment R-values (you have to use your own judgement). Solar electricity is also not modeled but solar thermal can be by bumping the efficiency factor up.
Wrightsoft and a couple other companies makes software to do the modeling for:
This type of modeling is good for new home construction but can also be used as a sales tool like the software companies listed below.
Other energy modeling companies do what is called a simple-J calculation, which is a simplified version of the Manual J to predict energy savings.
Some of the modeling companies are:
2a. Building Components
2b. Conservation Strategies
2c. Comprehensive Building Assessment Process
2d. Design considerations