Researchers at The University of New Mexico are part of a team of scholars looking for more efficient ways to heat, cool and ventilate buildings.
Currently, about 13 percent of all energy produced in the United States is used to heat, cool and ventilate buildings, according to ARPA-E. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is the largest consumer of energy in commercial buildings, totaling 37 percent of all energy used in this sector. Much of this energy is wasted by heating, cooling and over-ventilating unoccupied or partially occupied spaces. Due to a lack of accurate and reliable occupancy information, existing building automation and control systems are limited in their ability to substantially reduce HVAC energy use.