FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTRIONS about HEED (Home Energy Efficient Design)

HEED will show you how much money you can save in energy costs with each individual design, remodeling, or maintenance decision you make for your home.

This is a list of questions we have received by email from our users.

More detailed questions are answered inside the program by clicking on the HELP or the ADVICE icons. If you do not see your question answered here, email it to us at energy.design.tools@ucla.edu and you will get a prompt answer, usually within 24 hours.

  1. HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THE HEED SOFTWARE?

    HEED can be downloaded at no cost from its own web site (www.energy-design-tools.aud.ucla.edu/heed). The size of the download will be about 15 megabytes (MB), so it might take an hour on a slow connection. Upon installation, the program will require upwards of 26 MB of hard disk space. Note that the Spanish version will be automatically downloaded at the same time and has its own installation icon called HEED en Espanol. (Mac Version: The size of the download will be about 5 MB and the program will require about 12 MB of hard disk space. It will automatically use Spanish if it is set as the preferred language in International preferences.)

  2. HOW DO I INSTALL HEED?

    Once you have downloaded it, run the installation setup program by double clicking on its icon on your desktop, or by clicking on it in your download file. It starts by asking where you want store it, but we strongly recommend that you use the default directory folder (c:\heed) especially if you have an NT machine. In any case you must use folder names that are not more than eight (8) characters long. Using the normal “Program Files” directory may cause an error because an installation that uses long filenames will lead to error messages like “Could not find the main class. Program will exit.” If you are using Windows XP you might experience erratic behavior because XP sometimes adds extra hidden file extensions. For example STATION.DAT is sometimes changed to STATION.DAT.DAT but you cannot see the last DAT. To make these extensions visible go to My Computer, Control Panel, Folder Options, View, and un-check “Hide Extensions.” Use Rename to eliminate the extra extensions. (Mac Version: After downloading, open the HEED disk image file [if it isn’t already open] and drag the HEED icon to your Applications folder [or to wherever you prefer to put it].)

  3. HOW CAN I UPGRADE TO A NEWER VERSION OF HEED, AND STILL SAVE MY DATA?

    You can upgrade HEED by installing a new version in the same directory as the old version, and your old data will be preserved as long as it is compatible. However if HEED did not install correctly or if you find one of the schemes or projects does not run properly, you can save your old data folders by renaming heed\solar5 to heed\solar5X and then re-installing HEED. If that works, it means that there was an incompatibility or error somewhere in the old data. If you need to preserve your old data zip up the solar5X folder and email it with your error messages to us at energy.design.tools@ucla.edu and we will try to recover it for you. Alternatively you might just try to erase the schemes or project that is causing the problem. (Mac Version: All HEED data is stored in the Application Support folder of your Library folder [/Users/username/Library/Application Support/HEED].)

  4. I COULD NOT START HEED

    When I tried to launch HEED I got the message, “Could not find HEED main class, program will exit.” This usually means that your download was incomplete or corrupted. This could also mean (on Windows) that the directory path you entered has filenames longer that eight (8) characters (see the previous FAQ). Try to re-install, but if that fails, download HEED again and be sure the installation runs to completion.

  5. I GOT A RUN TIME ERROR “NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR ENVIRONMENT”

    This usually means that your computer does not have enough memory. You should have at least 64 MB of physical memory (see the HEED RUNS SLOWLY FAQ below) but twice that will show a marked improvement in performance. You also may have other programs loaded and running at the same time which you should close temporarily. If neither of these solves the problem, you may need a more technical solutions such as reducing the number and size of command-line arguments, or reducing the environment size or removing unnecessary environment variables. Since HEED uses a DOS based calculation kernel (on Windows), the default DOS environment may need to be restored or modified.

  6. HEED RUNS VERY SLOWLY ON MY COMPUTER

    There are various causes of slow performance, but the most common one is insufficient memory. You should have at least 64 MB of physical memory, but twice that will show a marked improvement in performance. You can find your current memory size (on Windows) if you go to My Computer, Control Panel, System, Performance. A second cause of slow performance is having other programs loaded and running at the same time, so close everything that you can (hit Ctrl+Alt+Del [on Windows] just once and shut down anything that you know should not be running). Another common problem is that your Virus protection software may be checking all the files that HEED is writing to the hard drive; this should be at least temporarily disabled.

  7. WILL HEED RUN ON MY MAC?

    HEED runs on Mac OS X version 10.4 or later (HEED also runs on Mac OS X version 10.3.9 with some limitations).

  8. IS THERE DIFFERENT CLIMATE DATA FOR EACH DIFFERENT ZIPCODE?

    The California Energy Commission has divided up the state into 16 different climate zones, and HEED contains a climate data file for each. For example there are 9 different climate zones in the Southern California Edison service territory, and some zipcodes cross between two climate zones.

  9. WHAT KIND OF CLIMATE DATA DOES HEED USE?

    For each of the 16 California Climate Zones HEED contains the 16 WYEC (Weather Year for Energy Calculations) files downloaded from the EnergyPlus web site and converted into TMY2 (Typical Meteorological Year) format. These files contain temperature and radiation data for each of the 8760 hours in the year. HEED will now also directly read Energy Plus (.epw) files for hundreds of stations around the world (see READ-USA.TXT in the heed\solar5\docs folder [on Windows]) This is not average (or mean) data, but rather the year is assembled from twelve actual “typical” months taken from different years. This means it shows the kind of annual and monthly averages, but also the extremes, storms, and weather patterns that actually occur. (Mac Version: EPW files for various locations can be downloaded from http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/cfm/weather_data.cfm. Place the EPW files in the tmy folder of your HEED data folder [/Users/username/Library/Application Support/HEED/tmy].)

  10. CAN I USE MY OWN WEATHER DATA, NOT WHAT IS PROVIDED WITH HEED?

    HEED will now also directly read EnergyPlus (.epw) files for hundreds of stations around the world (see READ-USA.TXT in the heed\solar5\docs folder [on Windows]). There is a direct link to the EnergyPlus site on the HEED web page. If you have your own raw temperature and beam and diffuse radiation data, you can create a TMY format file (see READ-TMY.TXT in the \docs folder [on Windows]), although the process is complex. Windows XP users who have trouble using their own data should consult this file for a discussion of hidden file extensions and how to eliminate them. (Mac Version: See the previous FAQ.)

  11. WHERE DID THESE ENERGY RATES COME FROM?

    Energy costs are calculated using the latest rates approved by your local utility (SCE,SDG&E,PG&E, SCG, SMUD) as defined for California zipcodes. Because rates can change every month, we use an average rate calculated over a recent year (see the Rates screen for details). You can also input data from your own utility’s current rates if you wish. We recommend that you download an updated version of HEED every year or so to be sure your are using the current rates and the latest program features.

  12. SHOULD I CREATE A DIFERENT PROJECT FOR EACH DIFFERENT BUILDING?

    Yes, we recommend that whenever you begin a new project that you always go to the Library icon and click on “create a new project,” and give it the most unique and descriptive name you can think of. Each new project can have up to nine different schemes.

  13. HEED DEFAULTS TO LOS ANGELES DEMO DATA, NOT WHAT I PUT IN LAST TIME

    Your data for each set of schemes is automatically saved, so when you log on next time be sure to click on “Use prior schemes,” and not on “Start from scratch” which will open a brand new project.

  14. I GOT AN ERROR “Not a win32 app,” WHAT SHOULD I DO?

    This usually means that you did not get a complete download, so the EXE file is corrupted. Check that the size of your “heed_install.exe” program is about 15 MB, and if not, download it again.

  15. I CAN INPUT NEW DATA, BUT THE ENERGY COSTS DO NOT CHANGE?

    This may mean that the computation kernel did not run for some reason. Hit Recalculate and if you do not see a black screen with all 365 dates scrolling rapidly by, check to see that you have a file called S5K.EXE with a size of about 450 kilobytes in your \HEED folder (on Windows). It could also mean that there is corrupt data in one of the input screens, although we believe that there are error traps to catch all illogical data inputs. Sometimes this means that you climate data is corrupted so try another zipcode, or if you loaded in your own data be sure that the station.dat and R?????.TXT files are valid (or send them to us and we will test them).

  16. CAN NON-RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS BE INPUT?

    Yes, you can use HEED for small non-residential buildings such as schools and offices by manually typing in the appropriate data on three screens: Internal Loads, HVAC Systems, and Daylighting. Note however that Schemes 1 and 2, the two basecase buildings should be ignored in this case. You can download examples of how this is done from the HEED web site.

  17. IF YOUR RESULTS LOOK ODD WHEN USING EnergyPlus DATA, CHECK THE LATITUDE.

    Some EnergyPlus climate data files produce a latitude of 0.0 degrees. Note that HEED does not run for the Southern Hemisphere with negative latitudes.

  18. IF YOU SEE RED WINDOWS ON WINDOW LAYOUT, CHECK THAT NO WINDOWS WERE DELETED.

    If you specify a large number of windows on any elevation, HEED’s expert system may not be able to lay them out without overlapping them. If windows overlap they are shown in red. You can click and drag them to free space on the elevation, but be sure that the total number of windows is correct, because sometimes red windows are deleted.

  19. HEED IN SOUTHERN LATITUDES

    HEED is limited to the Northern Hemisphere, but advanced users can try the following trick. In the .epw climate data file for your site, change the latitude from negative to positive, then mirror your buildingís design from north to south. This is difficult to keep track of mentally, but can yield interesting results.

  20. SPANISH VERSION OF HEED: PROBLEMS IN EXECUTION

    If you are having trouble running the Spanish version of HEED, be sure that language default on your computer is American English, or American Spanish (which will keep dollars). If you are in Latin America, for example, your default version of Spanish is not compatible.

Remember if you did not find your answer here, click on HELP or ADVICE inside the program. If you still have questions email us at energy.design.tools@ucla.edu