When looking for ways to save energy within a building, reducing waste heat from the commercial HVAC system can reduce energy consumption and operating costs. Heat recovery works to collect the energy which would be otherwise lost as heat, and allows the building to reuse this energy. Adding a heat recovery system will help a building use less energy while recycling heat for many other purposes.


There are many systems aside from commercial HVAC systems within a building that produce heat. Systems such as air compressors create heat as a byproduct of operation, which is not always considered as a heat source. Heat from these systems as well as commercial HVAC systems can be lost accidentally, through air leaks within a facility. Other sources of waste heat include:

  • Refrigeration systems
  • Process cooling systems
  • Hot liquid effluents
  • Ventilation extracts
  • Blowdown from boilers
  • Exhaust gas streams
  • Ovens

In a typical building without heat recovery, excess hot air is removed through a ventilation system and is discharged outdoors. The heat in this air is basically thrown out when it could be reused. In a building with heat recovery, cross flow heat exchangers can be used to remove heat from exiting air. This heat is used to warm the cooler air coming into a building. When this heat is reused, less heat must be added to the air by a commercial HVAC or boiler system before entering work spaces. These heat recovery systems are typically 55-65% efficient.

Heat recovery systems reduce the heat needed which is normally produced by commercial HVAC and boiler systems. The heat that is recovered can be used in a number of ways that are beneficial to a building. Some of the most common uses for recovery heat include:

  • Space heating
  • Power generation
  • Drying
  • Hot water heating
  • Preheating air and water for boiler systems
  • Preheating incoming air

Raising the efficiency of heat generating processes has been found to be amongst the most cost-effective uses for heat recovery. Heat recovery systems are added to commercial and industrial facilities to improve the efficiency of boiler systems, commercial HVAC systems, refrigeration systems, ventilation systems, and process systems. Efficiency improvements vary by application, but have been found to offer significant energy savings when implemented in these industries:

  • Food Processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Waste Treatment
  • Agricultural
  • Oil & Gas
  • Electronics
  • Chemical Processing & Production

Heat recovery systems can be installed in new construction projects or retrofit for existing facilities. Heat recovery systems combined with commercial HVAC in Vancouver offers great benefits for facility managers, and are a great asset for sustainable buildings. Improving building efficiency while recycling waste heat reduces operating costs while greening your facility.