HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) isn’t exactly a field that sees a lot of change on a regular basis. So when an innovative company like EcoFactor hits the scene, it’s kind of a big deal. EcoFactor, a residential energy management system based in Silicon Valley, calculates a home’s individual thermal characteristics – or “dynamic signature,” as the company likes to call it – using existing hardware and broadband internet to calculate how much energy is required to heat and cool the home.

Homeowners using EcoFactor have seen a 17 percent reduction in energy use, reports CNET. After conducting multiple pilot and commercial field deployments, EcoFactor also concluded that its services significantly increase residential demand response yield while greatly reducing discomfort. Those savings average out to about $56 per household during the period measured and can translate to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

“Smart” HVAC, Powered by the Internet

EcoFactor’s SaaS-based energy management system works by collecting 24,000 data points every day from individual homes, local weather stations and other geographic inputs that give information about how energy is consumed in those homes. The service then takes that information into account while making small adjustments in temperature to maximize energy efficiency. For example, on a stifling summer day, EcoFactor can “precool” a home before peak energy consumption hours to keep its owners cool while using as little energy as possible. The service helps homeowners save energy without changing their behavior or compromising comfort.

GigaOM’s Katie Fehrenbacher writes, EcoFactor is “finally a smart way to control thermostats. I’m not sure why every utility, energy service provider and consumer wouldn’t want to use this.”

As local and state governments look for new ways to cut energy consumption and the Obama administration invests billions of dollars into projects that will expand this country’s smart grid, solutions like the one provided by EcoFactor allow homeowners to take the first step toward greater sustainability by making small, yet significant changes in their daily routines.

Read more about HVAC on The SmartVan

ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.