Advanced Technology: Digital Economizer Controls

Installing digital economizer controls is like giving an economizer a bigger, better brain. They save energy by allowing the economizer to be more precise and finely tuned, making the fullest use of cool, fresh outdoor air to help cool the air inside.

Economizers Are Going Digital

The economizer is a device that eases the burden on a rooftop HVAC unit by opening a damper that lets in fresh outdoor air to help cool the indoor space. Unfortunately, many economizers don’t operate effectively because they rely on imprecise and outdated analog components.

Not only does California state law include standards for energy efficiency in commercial buildings, it requires many commercial HVAC systems to be equipped with economizers. As a result, many HVAC manufacturers are phasing out production of analog economizer controls to focus on superior digital controls.

How It Works

Renovating and tuning the unit’s existing economizer is part of the process of Quality Maintenance. You can take this standard procedure to the next level by replacing existing equipment with digital economizer controls. SCE facilitates training to teach local HVAC contractors to install qualified models of digital economizer controls. We also offer financial incentives to contractors who choose to take advantage of this advanced technology.

Partial HVAC unit cross-section showing economizer components, including damper blades, logic module, motor actuator, rainhood, filters, and both indoor and outdoor air intakes. Economizer damper blades positioned to block hotter outside air and utilize cooler inside air. Economizer damper blades positioned to utilize cooler outside air and block hotter inside air.
Figure 1: How Economizers Work

The Result

An economizer that operates more reliably and efficiently, saving money while improving air quality and comfort.

SCE customers who are already participating in HVAC Optimization and want to take advantage of digital economizer controls can ask their current contractor for more information.

If you’re new to HVAC Optimization, you can find a participating contractor to learn more and determine your eligibility.