Daikin Comfort Technologies North America Inc. has acquired Venstar Inc., a controls and energy management systems provider whose technology and indoor comfort solutions are used in millions of residences and light commercial applications across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The acquisition, announced by Daikin — a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), a global manufacturer of HVAC systems  complements the growing market for Daikin’s environmentally friendly indoor comfort technologies, including its high-performing inverter and heat pump solutions, and products featuring R-32, an open-source refrigerant with one-third the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the most commonly used refrigerants in the U.S. and Canada.

Venstar, founded in 1992 and based in Southern California, designs and builds a broad variety of innovative thermostats with more than 10 million installed. The company’s Surveyor Energy Management System allows retailers, restaurant chains and other multi-location businesses to remotely monitor, manage, and control energy consumption while reducing maintenance expenses. Currently, Surveyor is used to control more than 100,000 HVAC systems and building lighting in more than 30,000 retail locations throughout North America. Venstar’s Skyport Cloud service provides businesses a secure and private powerful cloud service for command and control of HVAC systems from anywhere in the world.

Under the new ownership as a wholly owned business unit of Daikin Comfort Technologies North America Inc., Venstar will continue to be led by Venstar’s existing management team with Steve Dushane, founder, president and CEO, as well as all current employees of Venstar.  Venstar’s headquarters will remain in California and Daikin plans to maintain the strong recognition of the Venstar brand, along with maintaining all of Venstar’s successfully branded products.  

“Venstar’s advanced smart thermostats, controls technology, and outstanding energy management systems will help support Daikin’s leadership role in connected solutions, ensuring safe, environmentally friendly, peak performance operations of HVAC systems through cloud-connected monitoring and control,” said Takayuki Inoue, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer for Daikin. “We are committed to facilitating North America wide adoption of energy-efficient inverter, heat pump, and R-32-based systems. These Daikin systems provide superior environmental benefits, energy savings, and indoor comfort performance over traditional HVAC systems that currently cool and heat most North American homes and businesses.”

Steve Dushane, founder, president and CEO of Venstar, said, “We are excited to join a company with a strong commitment to innovating indoor comfort and cultivating environmental sustainability. Daikin products are known for their technology leadership, energy efficiency, robust quality and high performance, all hallmarks of Venstar’s products and services that will further enhance our brand portfolio.”

“Venstar’s energy management expertise and smart, communicating controllers will help contractors, homeowners and businesses optimize the energy-saving and performance benefits of inverter-driven HVAC systems,” explained Dennis Thoren, vice president of controls and solutions at Daikin.

“Smart thermostat and cloud service solutions represent the future of indoor comfort beyond controlling temperature and ventilation,” said Thoren. “Monitoring and controlling performance, indoor air quality, predictive maintenance, and optimizing service truck logistics are just a few of the benefits that innovative thermostats and cloud-based services can provide contractors and customers.   It’s an effective, easy way to manage energy consumption remotely, even eventually collaborating with electric utilities to improve demand response. These are powerful benefits that provide value to utilities, contractors, and customers.”

“For example, Venstar's Surveyor typically saves small-box retailers 20% to 35% of their controlled energy costs,” said Dushane. “This translates to tens of millions of dollars in savings each year and dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions,” he explained.

The acquisition is one of several Daikin has completed during the past few years as it works to transform the North American HVAC industry. The $500 million Daikin Texas Technology Park (DTTP), located just northwest of Houston, now employs more than 7,000 people. At over four million square feet, DTTP is one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the world; 74 football fields can fit under its roof.