A good HVAC system is very important when it comes to maintaining a comfortable, healthy interior environment. Through the years many people ask about a strategy to reduce their cost of energy and HVAC. They don’t want to sacrifice the interior environmental conditions, however they do want a good plan on how to save money and equipment. The interesting thing that often happens may be that energy bills are lowered substantially and the air conditioning system capabilities is enhanced. That is a standard part of any HVAC contractor specializing in energy and HVAC.
Optimization of The System
Step one to acheiving system optimization is load reduction. This step normally involves a long range plan which itemizes the actions to be taken based on best return on your investment. Reducing the system load will allow it to function better. In case a new system or systems are being considered, it will be more economical to design for a load reduction versus the prevailing load. A few common load reduction strategies include:
1. Look at the building’s exterior and add additional insulation. Adding insulation in an existing building is probably not achievable in some instances, so more consideration ought to be aimed toward the exterior shell, especially windows and doors.
2. Fitting energy-efficient windows. This is a very expensive for some structures that have single pane windows. The replacement of double pane glazed windows with a thermal break is a wonderful return on your investment. Ensure they’re ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings will even be the best.
3. Updating the lighting system. The average commercial building has a lighting density of 2-3 watts per sq. ft. which maintains proper lighting levels. That is a big part of an HVAC system load and almost any efforts in this direction will reduce the cooling requirement of the structure. Accent lighting (ocassionally named architectural lighting) are not always power efficient and must not be considered if you wish to reduce energy and HVAC expenses. Energy-efficient lights give off less heat into air conditioned space than older light bulbs. When you have a return air plenum instead of return air ductwork, consider light troffers in order that some of the heat from the lights is sent back to the HVAC system rather than bleeding into the occupied space.
4. Selecting efficient equipment and electronic devices that have the power saver option will decrease the heat gain in the space. Items to think about include copiers, food processors, computers and fridges.
5. Control ventilation by having your outside air balanced. Most building owners have sketches of the system installation. Have the drawings reviewed by using a mechanical engineer to verify your air flow rates comply with the latest code requirements. If no drawings can be found, your contractor be able to make tips for enhancement.
Addressing these items is your first step to decreasing energy and HVAC costs.
The second step to achieve system optimisation is understanding it. Your HVAC system is crucial for your interior environment, but it also represents a major component of your utilities. Even though it is beyond the scope of this article to debate every system, a few suggestions can be discussed. Every system component has increased in efficiency during recent years. If your system is older than 13 years old, it is time to begin planning for upgrading. Well maintained residential systems have a life span of about fifteen years or so, but appear to fail at the most inconvenient times. You should have a replacement plan ready for the day your equipment fails.
Industrial systems vary, but if your structure is using specially designed systems, the same lifetime should be expected. For industrial or large business systems, the HVAC system could also be more complex and require an individual analysis by a contractor. As I said, These types of systems will vary and no one-size-fits-all analysis works best for a custom system. What most of these systems have in common is they’re often fueled by electrical energy. Electricity has its price, so any attempt toward improved efficiency can be a plus.
HVAC System Ideas:
Find a professional contractor you can trust. Assuming you are a property owner, find a good HVAC business or mechanic to assess and work on the system. If you are a large property owner, look for a commercial HVAC service for regular upkeep and a trusted contractor for impartial guidance. I do advise against using someone employed by the HVAC Company; find a 3rd party contractor for unbiased information.
Confirm your HVAC system load. Commercial properties have more requirements related to conformint to code requirements, ventilation rates, etc and therefore are different to each building.
Select equipment rated for the load. DO NOT OVERSIZE! Going overboard doesn’t work for HVAC systems. It is going to cost more to buy the apparatus as well as operate it. Get the load and the equipment selection right the first time.
Purchase high efficiency or Energy Star equipment. Many of the new systems also have variable speed drives for moving parts. Over the years of ownership this is paid back repeatedly. Contrast standard equipment to high efficiency equipment when it comes to the installation cost and running costs. Any good HVAC company or contractor can get this information for you.
Think about some kind of power recovery for air exhausted from the place and re-use it to condition the inbound clean air. This is the air you’ve paid to condition, so extracting some of the existing energy before blowing it out it ought to be a priority.
For large commercial complexes, think about preparing outside air with a dedicated outside air unit. This will solve problems with humidity control in many conditions. It will also increase comfort and allow for further downsizing of equipment.
Commercial properties might want to consider economizers on their equipment. Many current city codes require economizers on equipment over 15 tons in size. Often available at a low initial cost during set-up, these units draw in fresh air from outside whenever the temperature (or moisture) outside is lower than the temperature inside.
Both home owners and small commercial building owners should think about installing programmable thermostats. Commercial buildings can install a Direct Digital Control (DDC) system. The investment will more than pay back the cost in a short amount of time.
The third step to realize system optimization is controlling your system.
Programmable Thermostats: A great investment for the homeowner is a programmable thermostat. These are simple to use and incorporate strategies based on time scheduling. Most manufacturers offer seven day programs which will control the HVAC system timing and or climate settings. This is the best way to ensure the system is on only when necessary.
DDC Systems: For the large commercial building, I consider this as a must have system. Installation costs have steadily decreased and performance is better. They can be integrated into any system and expanded as required. A few of the more accepted elements of these systems are enhanced start/stop, multiple zone controls, temperature sensor and fresh air control. A key benefit of these systems is their capability to be integrated into any size system. This means you can install a somethng simple at first then increase the controls later to incorporate your whole HVAC system. The payback is quick and well worth the outlay.
Coil Cleaning: This is always a big item missed by almost everyone. Condenser coils tend to collect dust and debris because they’re outdoors. Diry coils make the compressor work harder and leads to a higher refrigerant temperatures in your refrigeration system. Dirty evaporator and heating coils circulate the dust and fibers inside the building. They must be cleaned a minimum of once every year
Operation and General Maintenance
The fourth and last step to realize better system operation is consistent upkeep. The most efficient systems are well managed. You can ensure durability, efficacy and a long life for any HVAC system by following these ideas.
Find a professional contractor you can trust. Find the best company or technician to analyze and work on your system. Assuming you are a large business owner, find a commercial|an industrial} HVAC contractor for routine maintenance. Make sure you keep track of servicing with when they vist and what they did each time.
Home owners should always get a regular tune up. The operation of your system will fluctuate with the seasons of the year.
Change air filters on a schedule. Don’t use anything less than a MERV 5 filter to assure dust and fibers are removed. Dirty filters negate your savings and allow dust to pass through.
To Sum it up
Energy and HVAC optimization will help to decrease energy expenses. A little time understanding your system and familiarizing yourself with improvement strategies will save money and boost the life of your system.