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American Home Comfort Study

Strategic Intelligence On Energy Efficiency, Home Comfort, And HVAC

The largest knowledge base of homeowner behavior, perceptions, and attitudes related to energy efficiency, home comfort, and HVAC. Topics include:

  • The level of consumers’ interest in energy efficiency
  • How consumers balance rising energy costs with home comfort
  • Consumers’ willingness to spend money on home improvements in order to achieve energy efficiency
  • Home comfort differences by region and demographics


Our expanded and updated 2010 study is based on insights from over 30,000 homeowners, including in-depth findings from recent purchasers of central HVAC equipment for the home. The study includes about:

  • 2,200 replacement buyers
  • 800+ new home purchasers
  • 450+ add-on/remodeling customers


The 2010 study was conducted via the Internet among homeowners recruited from Decision Analyst’s American Consumer Opinion® panel.

Who Needs This Report?

This report presents a comprehensive picture of the HVAC, home comfort, and energy efficiency trends–the fourth biannual study since 2002. The information in the report is useful to:

  • Utility companies
  • Government agencies
  • HVAC manufacturers and distributors
  • Industry consultants
  • Ancillary equipment manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Media and industry publications
  • Trade organizations
  • Advertising agencies and public relations firms
  • Builders

Energy Efficiency: What Homeowners Know, Believe, And Do

  • Attitudes and activities about energy efficiency and environment:
    • “Energy efficiency is most important when buying heating and cooling products”
    • “Making my home more energy efficient is not a top priority”
    • And many more attitudinal statements
  • Average temperature settings for the thermostat in winter and summer
  • Steps taken to achieve energy efficiency
    • Had an energy audit on home
    • Installed insulated air ducts
    • Started “spot cooling”
    • Installed higher quality insulation
    • Started to heat and/or cool home by zone
    • Installed energy-efficient equipment
    • Purchased portable IAQ and/or heating and air conditioning equipment

What Is The Homeowner Paying For Energy?

Get the broad perspective on home comfort and energy efficiency from 30,000 homeowners.

  • Electrical power availability, satisfaction, and billing
  • Natural gas availability, satisfaction, and billing
  • Peak heating and cooling costs by region
  • Participation in “cost averaging” programs
  • Impact of increased energy costs on homeowners, such as:
    • “Concerned about heating and cooling my home adequately”
    • “I planned for increasing energy costs”
  • Received any energy tax credits and/or energy company rebates

Energy Star And Seer

  • Awareness and knowledge of Energy Star symbol, such as:
    • “Any major appliance I buy must have Energy Star”
    • “I don't pay attention to Energy Star”
  • Awareness and knowledge of SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): What do homeowners know?
  • Energy efficiency level of HVAC system.

Homeowner Behavior And Perceptions

  • Central HVAC equipment owned/recently purchased
    • Central air conditioning
    • Central furnaces
    • Central boilers
    • Central heat pumps
    • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Ancillary equipment used with central HVAC equipment
  • Heating, cooling, internal air quality, and humidity-control products
  • Whole-house ventilation and humidity-control products
  • Market size: purchases for primary/secondary homes and rentals
  • Unaided and aided brand awareness for HVAC equipment
  • Home comfort satisfaction for HVAC equipment
  • Desired improvements to home comfort
  • Maintenance and service contracts
  • “Do it yourself” projects
  • Use of zoning and programmable thermostats for temperature control
  • Homeowner and home profiles

Profile Of Recent Central HVAC Equipment Purchasers

The 2010 study includes a detailed profile of approximately 3,200 recent central HVAC equipment purchasers in the replacement, add-on/remodeling, and new-home markets.

  • HVAC Equipment and Brand Selection
    • Types and brands purchased and replaced
    • Brand familiarity and concerns
    • Warranty length, extended warranties
  • Purchase Drivers
    • Key reasons equipment was replaced or added
    • Role of energy efficiency
    • Age of replaced equipment
    • Importance of price
  • Decision Process
    • Homeowners’ first decision: contractor or brand?
    • Importance of referral, reputation, marketing, and brand familiarity
  • Purchase Process
    • Purchase-decision process, time, and amount spent
    • Final decision maker
    • Identification of “big spenders”
  • Temperature Control
    • Types and brands of thermostats
    • Location of thermostats and styles of homes
    • Homeowners who program their thermostats
  • Homeowner Satisfaction
    • Homeowner efficiency rating of new HVAC equipment
    • Homeowner rating of home's air quality
    • Homeowner rating of home's energy efficiency
    • Brand, contractor, and home-comfort satisfaction
  • Ancillary Equipment
    • Heating equipment: space heaters, fireplaces, etc.
    • Cooling equipment: room air conditioners, portable air conditioners, and fans
    • Air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers

Deliverable Options

  • Comprehensive report:
    • Summary of home-comfort market
    • Detailed analysis of key market segments
    • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Online reporting system
  • Custom queries on targeted issues
  • Custom presentations
  • Custom data collection possibilities by geographical
  • Region

Market Intelligence Services

Decision Analyst is a leading global marketing research firm and analytical consulting firm. If you would like more information on the American Home Comfort Study, please contact Joan Lord, Vice President, (, or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.

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