Energy > HVAC

Heating, cooling, and ventilation systems consume a lot of energy. Replacing a less efficient system with a more efficient model will yield energy and cost savings during the course of its use.

When purchasing a new HVAC system, consider purchasing the most efficient model that suits your needs. Visit the US EPA’s Energy Star products database for a list of the most efficient HVAC systems. In addition, consult the Energy Star Building Manual for Heating and Cooling to learn more about HVAC efficiency upgrades. For those products that are not rated by Energy Star, consult the Federal Energy Management Program.

For a list of available incentives and rebates in your state, visit the State Database of Renewables and Efficiency and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s Tax Incentives Assistance Project.

Calculate savings from energy efficient products.


Replacing inefficient HVAC equipment with newer, more efficient, and better-designed equipment will yield operating cost reductions during the lifetime of a new or renovated facility. According to the EPA, replacing components of an older HVAC typically yield annual savings of around 20% below current energy costs.


When replacing HVAC equipment, keep the following in mind:

  • Consider using the EPA’s Energy Star program

  • If Energy Star does not rate the particular appliance, purchase the most efficient model feasible

  • Look for other energy saving features such as programmability and power-saving functions

  • Many products continue to use energy, even when they’re turned off. Look for products that use as little energy as possible while in “off” mode.


Conducting energy audits of your sports facilities can help your institution earn points within the “Energy” subcategory of AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). It can directly contribute to earning 6 points for the credit “OP 8: Building Energy Consumption.” Work with sustainability and facilities staff on your campus to support any institutional efforts to attain or improve your institution’s STARS rating. Use the STARS 2.0 Technical Manual to learn more.


Most energy consumed in the United States comes from coal, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and numerous negative health impacts while also adding significantly to human-derived global warming.

Investing in better HVAC systems also ensures a healthier environment for employees, fans, and players. Improved filtration technology decreases the amount of particulates and biological contaminants (fungus, mold, viruses) in the workspace. Newer HVAC systems are also more adept at filtering and sealing out nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, and other air pollutants that can harm staff and visitors to your facility.


AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
AASHE STARS 2.0 Technical Manual
Department of Energy’s Heating and Cooling Systems
Santa Monica Green Buildings Program HVAC systems
EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
HVAC Best Practices
Energy Star Building Upgrade Financial Value Calculator
Energy Star Savings Calculators