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UCF's Florida Solar Energy Center will receive nearly $1 million from the Energy Department for research to help develop more efficient methods for heating and cooling homes.

The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, led by FSEC, is the first university-led team to receive part of the Energy Department's $4 million investment. Their research will be centered on optimal comfort systems for heating, cooling, air distribution and humidity cool.

"This research will help us develop integrated approaches to making homes more energy efficient while keeping them comfortable, healthy, and durable," Eric Martin, the project's lead researcher and program director in FSEC's Building Research Division, said in a release.

The FSEC team will be conducting experiments both in laboratory homes located at FSEC and inside of occupied homes. Most of the work will focus on applications that can cool homes in Florida's hot and humid climate.

"To ensure near-term market penetration, we are working with several industry partners including production home builders and product manufacturers," said Martin.

The Building America program plans to reduce the energy consumption used in U.S homes by as much as 70 percent by reducing the space it takes for a home's air conditioning system to heat and cool the home.

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Shanae Hardy is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Email her at ShanaeH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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