TexasIsHot – Energy Efficiency


May 02 2012

HVAC Efficiency Controls Could Mean Significant Savings

According to a new report from Pacific Northwest National Lab, commercial building owners could save an average 38 percent on their heating and cooling bills just by installing a few new controls onto their HVAC systems.

These findings mean significant potential savings for building owners who use commercial rooftop systems – but there’s just one problem: the controls aren’t currently commercially available.

Srinivas Katipamula, the PNNL engineer leading the study, says the report makes “a convincing case for manufacturers to produce more advanced HVAC controllers and for building owners to adopt these energy-saving methods.” The PNNL team hopes the report will encourage manufacturers to begin producing the four different control methods. Three companies currently manufacture HVAC controllers, but only one company offers a product with all the control options that resemble the team’s simulations. To help the manufacturer’s better understand their market, PNNL’s report examines potential pricing options for the controllers and how long it would take for building owners to recoup that cost. Since packaged HVACs regulate more than 60 percent of the commercial building floor space in the United States, the potential savings from retrofitting advanced controls on these systems is enormous.

The following four different control methods were considered by Katipamula and his PNNL colleagues:

  • Air-side economizers cool outside air to chill the building instead of creating cool air with the HVAC compressor.
  • Supply fan speed controls slow or speed up the ventilation fan that circulates the building’s air based on whether or not a desired temperature or amount of fresh air has been reached instead of continually running the fan at full speed.
  • Cooling capacity controls run the HVAC compressor at different speeds based on need.
  • Demand-controlled ventilation slows or speeds up fans and air intake based on carbon dioxide levels inside the building instead of running ventilation fans at a constant rate.

In general, the researchers found that installing a multi-speed fan control had the greatest impact on energy savings in hotter cities (think Miami), and demand-controlled ventilation created the best possible energy savings in colder cities like Chicago or Seattle.

For more information about the study, read the full report.


  1. Allan MullalyDecember 5, 2012 at 2:27 amReply

    I am totally agree with you. I had some problems with heating and cooling products at home. So I hired cleanairheat.ca . I found best it in Toronto.

  2. hvac installation las vegasDecember 26, 2012 at 4:17 amReply

    Old HVAC systems can really cause increase in energy bills. Idea of installing new HVAC systems can be very effective. You really shared good information about the control methods. Thanks for sharing.

  3. PaulJuly 10, 2013 at 1:34 pmReply

    Most buildings use inefficient HVAC systems that waste as much as 30 percent in energy consumption. Duty cycle controls maximize the efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems by using only the most efficient slice of the heating or cooling cycle and establishing optimal run times for HVAC compressor and burner units.

  4. vindiesel570August 22, 2013 at 9:44 pmReply

    Its great info you shared here…heating and cooling toronto

  5. John CenaSeptember 11, 2013 at 7:10 amReply

    yes I totally agree with you. I had a few problems with the heating and cooling products at home. So I rented Aire Flo Gas Furnace
    I found it better to Toronto.

  6. elixavanSeptember 30, 2013 at 3:16 amReply

    Its great posting and nice information High Efficiency Furnace

  7. Levine and SOnsApril 2, 2014 at 10:00 amReply

    HVAC systems should be maintained twice a year, but this should be done by the technicians, what is more important is to check filters from time to time if they have to be replaced. It is not always that HVAC systems are old, it can be they are not maintained well.
    All the best fro Levine HVAC, http://www.levineandsons.com

  8. Mike MooreApril 12, 2014 at 9:41 pmReply

    This is good info! The guys that do my Air Conditioner Repair Las Vegas should have told me this!

  9. One Hour Heating and Air ConditioningJanuary 8, 2015 at 1:05 pmReply

    Great read, everyone is interested is saving money and if it is as easy as adding some control options on your A/C I am sure everyone would at least look into the option.

  10. Rohit RoyMay 8, 2015 at 10:58 amReply

    Found your blog. Its really nice on Air Conditioning. I appreciate your article. Its important to find quality hvac repair companies in Houston for getting a high quality service. So thanks for sharing all that important information.

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