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DOE Invests in HVAC Efficiency

April 22, 2015

New technologies will cut use of climate-damaging refrigerants.

As part of their goal to phase out the use of the refrigerant chemicals commonly used in HVAC technology, the DOE announced almost $8 million to develop new environmentally friendly options. The federal agency is targeting HVAC technology due to its status as the largest energy end-use in U.S. buildings, consuming almost 14 quadrillion BTUs and 30% of building energy use every year.

The DOE’s choices for enhancements will cover two broad areas: advanced vapor compression and non-vapor compression. While advanced vapor compression technology is similar to the systems that are currently used in HVAC applications, developments are expected to cut as much as 40% from current energy use. Non-vapor compression HVAC systems are unique in that they could eliminate the use of HFC refrigerants, which are shown to damage the environment.

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