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Using a sample of 37 687 single family homeowners from the 1980 Annual Housing Survey, this study applied discriminant analysis to determine which variables influence presence, addition, and cost of insulation. Housing units with insulation were more likely to have storm doors or windows, be newer, more expensive, be located in the Northcentral region rather than the South, and have an attached fan and electric or oil heat rather than natural gas. An increase in the age of the head and presence of a child under 6 years old as well as length of occupancy were more highly associated with housing without insulation.
The addition of insulation was more likely in older homes, homes located in regions other than the South, homes heated with oil, liquid petroleum gas, or wood rather than natural gas, and homes with storm doors or windows and an attached fan. While presence of a child under 6 years old increased the probability, length of occupancy had a negative impact.
Using these variables as discrimators, 74.2% of the households with insulation were correctly classified, while 60.5% of the households who added insulation were correctly classified. Expenditures on insulation varied with region, length of occupancy, age and value of the house, and presence of an attached fan. Thus this study provides a base for identifying households which will undertake insulation activities.
energy conservation, insulation, consumers, residences
Associate Professor, University of Georgia, Athens, GA