The Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia’s Cool Homes Program tested an innovative approach to addressing the significant heat-related health risks faced by low income senior citizens. Cool Homes served 375 senior households in Philadelphia over the course of the program from 2001 through 2003. Ninety percent of these households received an elastomeric white roof coating, more than 80% received whole house fans, and two thirds received roof insulation. Roof coating cost an average of $1,500 per home and roof insulation cost about $750 per home (mostly paid for using funding from other weatherization programs). In homes without bedroom air conditioners, the peak indoor ceiling temperatures were reduced by about 4°F-5°F on hot days while bedroom air temperatures declined by about half that amount. The heat gain from the ceiling was reduced by nearly 90% as ceiling temperatures dropped to within half a degree of bedroom air temperatures and the 2nd floor became similar to the 1st floor temperatures.
Source: M. Blasnik and Associates
Publication Date: May 2004