HVAC systems typically account for as much as 30% of energy use and costs in commercial buildings and office spaces. Several technologies for heating and cooling exist, including reverse cycle air conditioners, electric space heaters, wood-burners and ducted gas heating. The energy efficiency and emissions intensity of these technologies can vary substantially.
As well as the impact of HVAC on total facility energy use and costs, these systems also dominate peak building electricity demand. Improving a system’s efficiency can reduce peak demand charges. Capital and maintenance costs of HVAC also comprise a significant proportion of building costs, and can be minimized through good system design and regular maintenance
While significant energy and capital savings can be made through investing in new, high-efficiency HVAC systems, existing systems can also be optimized. Strategies include reducing demand for HVAC, fine-tuning controls and good maintenance practices.