Homes built since 1990 average 27 percent larger than homes built previously, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports.
“As square footage increases, the burden on heating and cooling equipment rises, lighting requirements increase, and the likelihood that the household uses more than one refrigerator increases,” the EIA says. “Square footage typically stays fixed over the life of a home and it is a characteristic that is expensive, even impractical to alter to reduce energy consumption.”
The EIA bases its report on its 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey.
Homes built in the 1970s and 1980s average less than 1,800 SF, the EIA says, increasing to 2,200 SF for homes built in the 1990s and to 2,465 SF for those built in the 2000s.