U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Federal Energy Management Program

New and Underutilized Technology: Carbon Dioxide Demand Ventilation Control

The following information outlines key deployment considerations for carbon dioxide (CO2) demand ventilation control within the Federal sector.


Demand ventilation control systems modulate ventilation levels based on current building occupancy, saving energy while still maintaining proper indoor air quality (IAQ). CO2 sensors are commonly used, but a multiple-parameter approach using total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), particulate matter (PM), formaldehyde, and relative humidity (RH) levels can also be used.

CO2 sensors control the outside air damper to reduce the amount of outside air that needs to be conditioned and supplied to the building when occupancy is low. This works especially well for conference rooms and auditoriums with frequent low occupancy, but must be designed to supply outside air volume for worst-case scenarios.


CO2 demand ventilation control systems are most applicable in rooms with variable occupancy, such as conference rooms.

Key Factors for Deployment

CO2 demand ventilation control systems work especially well in conference rooms and auditoriums that are frequently at low occupancy, but must be designed to supply outside air at volume for worst-case scenarios.

These systems are offered by all major HVAC equipment and control companies.

Ranking Criteria

Federal energy savings, cost-effectiveness, and probability of success are ranked 0-5 with 0 representing the lowest ranking and 5 representing the highest ranking. The weighted score is ranked 0-100 with 0 representing the lowest ranking and 100 representing the highest ranking.

Federal Energy Savings Cost Effectiveness Probability of Success Weighted Score
0.5 5.0 3.8 50