HVAC systems are crucial for maintaining indoor temperature and humidity in buildings but consume significant energy, accounting for over 50% of a building’s energy use. This study proposes a deep reinforcement learning (DRL) algorithm for optimizing energy consumption in residential building HVAC systems while maintaining occupant comfort. Climate data was collected using low-cost sensors, and a co-simulation framework was developed for offline training and validation of our DRL-based algorithm. The proposed DRL-based algorithm was compared to a rule-based HVAC system regarding energy consumption and occupant comfort. Results show that the proposed algorithm can reduce energy consumption by up to 15% compared to the rule-based HVAC system. DRL is a suitable approach for optimizing HVAC systems due to its ability to adapt to the dynamics of multi-parameterized systems. This study contributes to sustainable building design by proposing a DRL-based algorithm to reduce energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature. Using low-cost sensors and a co-simulation framework provides a practical and cost-effective method for training and validating the proposed algorithm.

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