4 HVAC Strategies for Large Commercial Buildings in 2023

4 HVAC Strategies for Large Commercial Buildings in 2023 

In big commercial buildings, HVAC offers a great chance to save energy and be more eco in 2023. With new government rules and ways to measure efficiency, companies have good reasons to make their HVAC systems more energy-efficient. This article looks at the most effective ways for large commercial buildings. This could be used to save money and energy this year with their HVAC systems.

The Imperative of Energy Efficiency in HVAC Systems

The energy consumed by HVAC systems accounts for a staggering 44% of total energy usage. By optimizing the efficiency of HVAC systems, businesses can realize tremendous cost savings. For instance, enhancing HVAC efficiency by as little as 10% can lower energy bills by 8%. 

Besides saving money, HVAC systems help businesses show they care about the environment. Because sustainability is a big part of being a responsible company. These kinds of upgrades give commercials a great chance to lower their impact. This helps to protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.

Understanding HVAC Efficiency Metrics: SEER and EER Ratings

The SEER is a metric used to measure the efficiency of cooling systems. It’s calculated by dividing the cooling output during a typical cooling season. A higher SEER rating indicates a more efficient cooling system. The higher the SEER, the more energy-efficient the AC unit is. The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) shows how well air conditioning works when it’s hot outside, like at 95°F.

When evaluating contractors, ask about their experience with commercial HVAC installation services for buildings to yours. Have they handled large-scale upgrades and retrofits before? Getting the right contractor expertise ensures your HVAC upgrade delivers ROI and performance.

EER provides an instantaneous snapshot of performance. In 2023, the SEER metric evolved into SEER2 and the HSPF into HSPF2 due to major changes in the testing method. The new testing procedures offer an authentic view of real-world operational efficiency.

HVAC Standards in 2023: From Small Businesses to Large Commercial Buildings

Following the Department of Energy’s efforts to lower the country’s energy use. The more stringent federal rules for HVAC systems started in January 2023. For small business applications, the least SEER rose from 14 to 15. 

The standards are even more rigorous for large commercial buildings. With required SEER ratings ranging from 18 to the mid-20s depending on the unit capacity. To meet the latest federal requirements and prepare for strict national efficiency standards. It is crucial that any installations during 2023 use units that meet these standards. Investing in high equipment not only ensures at present but also in the future.

Exploring Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems for Commercial Buildings

1. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Systems

VRF systems are good at controlling the temperature. They prevent energy wastage by adjusting the amount of cooling or heating. They deliver to various areas based on their specific requirements. With SEER ratings reaching the mid-20s, VRF systems are optimal for large facilities.

2. Heat Pump Systems

Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling through the use of a refrigeration cycle. The most efficient models are over 4 times as efficient as the older ones with SEER ratings of 19 and beyond. This dual-purpose ability makes heat pumps perfect for large commercial spaces.

3. Geothermal HVAC Systems

Geothermal uses the temperatures underneath the earth’s surface to heat and cool spaces. Although geothermal systems involve high upfront costs, they offer efficiency and long-term savings.

4. Smart HVAC Systems

Smart HVAC systems integrate with IoT technology in real-time. This could be used for performance monitoring, predictive maintenance, and automation based on occupancy patterns. Combining smart tech with high-efficiency equipment maximizes cost and energy savings.

HVAC System TypeEfficiency (SEER Rating)CostMaintenance 
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)Up to 30 HighLow
Air-Source Heat Pumps19-22MediumMedium
Geothermal Heat Pumps19-41Very HighLow
Standard AC System14-18LowHigh

The Financial Upside of Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems

Source: Energystar.gov

The long-term savings of energy-efficient HVAC upgrades are large: 

Energy Cost Savings: High-efficiency HVAC systems can reduce energy bills by 25% to 40%. Durability: Energy-efficient units have an average equipment lifespan of 15 to 30 years. 

Tax Incentives & Rebates: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 introduced energy-efficient HVAC upgrades. 

Rapid Payback: In many scenarios, the savings generated can offset the costs within 3 to 5 years.

Maximizing Savings with Efficient HVAC Systems

With most of the savings from equipment, facility managers should also concentrate on:

  • Regular maintenance to keep systems running at optimal efficiency.
  • Adjusting zone configurations and ducting for precise temperature and airflow control.
  • Sealing and insulating ductwork to reduce leaks and energy loss.
  • Modifying system runtimes to match building occupancy patterns.

Add-on Benefits of Efficient HVAC Systems

Beyond cost savings, upgrading HVAC systems delivers: 

Enhanced Air Quality and comfort: Fresh outdoor air exchange, and superior humidity control. 

Noise Reduction: More recent units operate much quieter. 

Environmental Impact: Lower energy consumption and emissions. Property Value: Increased asset value and marketability.

Choosing the Right Commercial HVAC Contractor

The HVAC contractor is crucial in guaranteeing optimal efficiency, comfort, and cost savings. Key selection criteria include: 

Technical Expertise: Knowledge of commercial HVAC equipment, building codes, and efficiency metrics. 

Energy Modeling: The ability to simulate energy performance via modeling software. 

24/7 Support: Timely emergency service and preventative maintenance. 

Putting money into energy-efficient HVAC methods designed for big commercial buildings. This will definitely bring great returns this year. You’ll save a lot of energy, make sure you follow the rules, be more sustainable, and get other advantages. The perfect time for facilities managers to save money and use energy better.


In 2023, it’s clear that making systems more energy-efficient for large commercial buildings. With strict regulations, it’s an opportune time to consider investing in high-efficiency. HVAC equipment such as VRF, heat pumps, geothermal units, and smart HVAC technology. These solutions can lead to cost savings and environmental benefits. 

These changes can help save energy and be better for the environment. Using energy-efficient HVAC methods can save a lot of money, with energy bills going down by 25-40%. There are also tax benefits, and you’ll see the investment pay off. Additionally, advanced HVAC systems make the air better, keep people comfortable. Also, good for the environment. 

They can even raise the value of the property. When businesses work with contractors who are experts in the field of analyzing data. They can get the most savings and better performance. In general, make building operations in 2023 more efficient, eco, and profitable. The time for action is now.


How do SEER and EER ratings impact HVAC systems in commercial buildings?

Higher SEER and EER ratings translate to better efficiency and lower electricity costs. When replacing, choosing models with ratings of 18+ SEER and 12+ EER ensures savings.

What are the potential cost savings for commercial to energy-efficient HVAC systems?

According to research, upgrading to high-efficiency can lower energy bills by 25% to 40%. The savings add up given the major role of HVAC in a building’s energy consumption.

How do energy-efficient HVAC systems contribute to sustainable business practices and environmental conservation?

By reducing power consumption and emissions, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint. This aligns commercial facility management with responsible practices.