Urgent Alert

7 energy-efficient HVAC products for offsite business owners

Date: June 07, 2023
woman working on laptop

If you’re an offsite business owner, you can rein in energy use for your restaurant, hotel, office building or other commercial location even when you’re not on the premises. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems account for about 40% of electricity use in the average commercial building1. Try these 7 energy-efficient HVAC products to cut costs, stay hands-off and be worry-free:


  1. ENERGY STAR®-certified heating and cooling products. If your current heating and cooling equipment is more than 10 years old, you may be able to save up to 20% in energy costs by buying new equipment.2 Look for the ENERGY STAR certification to make sure equipment meets current energy-efficiency standards.
  2. Programmable thermostats. Replacing your current thermostat with a programmable one can help you save an average of 10%3 on heating and cooling costs by setting appropriate upper and lower temperature limits. These thermostats also allow you to tailor heating and cooling schedules to when people are present. Some models allow remote temperature setting with an internet connection.
  3. Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV). Tired of paying to heat or cool empty spaces after people have left the room? DCV can save up to 20% on energy use by using CO2 sensors to determine how many occupants are in a space and adjusting ventilation accordingly.4
  4. Economizers and advanced digital economizer controls. Economizers bring in air when it’s cool outside to reduce demand from the AC system. Advanced digital economizer controls detect and report problems with sensors, dampers and other components to help maintain energy efficiency. They can save you 10% or more, depending on the local climate.5
  5. Variable-frequency drives. VFDs (also known as variable-speed drives) are motor controllers that match the operating speed of HVAC fans or pumps to the actual heating and cooling load, which can be affected by weather, occupancy schedules and other factors. In one case study, Imagery Estate Winery installed this type of drive at their processing facility for year-round operation with a refrigerated wine cellar. VFDs slowly brought the speed of pumps up to the desired pressure for moving coolant, thereby saving the business energy. The cost of installing these drives was reduced by more than half with the rebate provided by PG&E. The company realized savings of over $13,000 for the year, which more than covered the cost of the VFD drives, and will continue to save thousands of dollars every year going forward.
  6. Heat-recovery ventilation. Is your business blowing hot air, literally? Consider recapturing the energy in that heat with a heat-recovery ventilation system. These systems recover 50% to 80% of wasted energy from warm exhaust air and use it to heat incoming cool air.6 Such systems include heat exchangers, recuperators, regenerators, passive air preheaters and waste heat boilers.
  7. Evaporative coolers (for drier climates). If your facility is located in a dry climate and has energy-intensive compressors, consider switching to evaporative coolers, which use water evaporation to cool spaces.


Learn more about energy-saving options available for your business by downloading this eBook: How to Get the Best Results from a Lighting or HVAC Project.

Referenced in article:

  1. Department of Energy
  2. When is it time to replace? | ENERGY STAR
  3. Department of Energy
  4. Department of Energy
  5. Department of Energy (PDF)
  6. Energy5