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High amounts of energy are wasted each day from commercial, institutional and government buildings through heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Building owners are caught between two powerful forces — the need to lower energy costs and the need to meet or exceed outdoor air ventilation regulations for occupant health and comfort.
Heating or cooling energy is continually wasted in the exhaust air stream while new energy must be generated and used to condition entering outdoor air. This leads to a cycle of wasted energy and will continue to incur high energy costs. To address this challenge, we are always providing tips for reducing HVAC Energy costs without compromising comfort.
Tips of optimizing and reducing HVAC energy costs:
- Evaluate air systems for leaks. Leaks can be a major source of wasted energy. Correcting them can help significantly with energy savings. Leaks can lead to a 20 to 30 percent loss of an air systems output. They can also diminish the effectiveness of your equipment. Common causes for leaks include missing seals or welds, loose tubes and hoses, and worn materials. Depending on the cause, rectifying leaks may be as simple as tightening up fittings or replacing minor parts.
- Install energy-efficient lighting. Not only do compact fluorescent light bulbs cut lighting costs, but they also cut cooling costs too. Unlike incandescent lightings, fluorescent light bulbs
- give off very little heat. 90% of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat rather than light. That extra heat means extra cooling expenses.
- Shutting down equipment that is not in use. At the end of the day, all equipment that is not being used should be shut down. When employees are not in their offices, whether it is overnight or for an extended vacation, remind them to shut down their computers and other equipment, or place them into sleep mode. If you have networked computers, your administrator might be able to adjust power settings for more efficient usage.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Setting your HVAC system automatically, say having the system run only within office hours and turn it off after automatically when reaching the end of the day. This minimizes human error and allows the HVAC system to automatically have settings on the desired temperature without adjusting from time to time. Saving 5 to 20 percent off your energy bill.
- Block out the sun with window shades. This is common; roughly 30 percent of unwanted heat comes through your windows. Putting shades, insulating curtains or tinted window film on the south- and west-facing windows can save you up to 7 percent, or $45, annually on cooling costs. Nature itself can be used to lessen and block sunlight. A combination of shade and trees can lower indoor temps as much as 15 degrees on a hot day. Another way is to install Insulating curtains on which can save even more on both heating and cooling costs.
- Measure Airflow. Use duct traverses to measure air pressure, velocity, and flow. If the pressure is too high and/ or airflow too low, check dirty coils, fans, and filters that could be blocking the system.
- Check ventilation. Many buildings are either under-ventilated (bad IAQ) or over-ventilated (expensive). Readjust to ASHRAE standards.
- Add VFDs. Variable air volume systems use variable frequency drives (VFDs) to more efficiently regulate motors and pumps. An upfront installation cost in exchange for long term energy savings. These variable frequency drives are energy management tools operating out of the conventional system. VFD’s are there to provide an effective and efficient alternative for controlling energy without increasing energy costs.
- Upgrade your equipment. The cost of energy is an increasingly important issue, and it is especially true for businesses. Rapidly rising energy costs have forced companies to increase their investment in energy-efficient technologies to reduce energy usage. With new HVAC equipment equip with smart properties embedded with an algorithm-driven smart microprocessors addresses the intricacies and nuances of rapidly changing building load, and adjusts A/C demand (Energy consumption) based on the actual needs of the facility.
It is always a familiar challenge for business owners to reduce HVAC energy costs. Our technicians can help you determine whether an HVAC system upgrade would pay itself in energy saving costs. We use energy audits to determine your building’s needs to reduce HVAC energy costs without compromising comfort.