Adjusting air compressor pumps to cope with the demand placed on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can help to cut operating costs in colder climates, according to research carried out by the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The laboratory studied various different ways to cut HVAC operating costs – and found the best approaches can lower heating and cooling bills by an estimated 38% for US commercial building owners.

One element of the study involved considering warm climates (e.g. Miami) separately from cooler locations like Chicago and Seattle.

For the cooler cities – which are likely to have more in common with most UK cities’ climates – demand-led adjustment of air compressor pumps had a particularly beneficial effect on HVAC systems in terms of energy consumption and general operating costs.

“In colder climates, [the researchers] suspected that demand-controlled ventilation prevents unnecessarily sending warm air outside, which then prompts [the] HVAC system to create more warm air to maintain desired temperatures inside,” the laboratory reports.

While the research was conducted solely within the US, its findings could prompt building owners and operators in comparable climates to adopt a demand-driven approach to the air compressor pumps at work within their HVAC systems.

And while savings were greater in warmer cities, Seattle still achieved a significant 28% reduction in heating and cooling costs, making doing so a compelling business proposition.