Let's chat approximately 30-40% of your electricity bill. That's how much it costs the average homeowner or poster building owner to find the money for proper heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC). A good HVAC system is the key to maintaining a comfortable, healthy and interior environment. Through the years, I have been asked by many owners for a strategy to cut their cost of vigor and HVAC. They don't desire to sacrifice the interior environmental conditions, but they attain desire a point-by-point plan to follow. The engaging issue that often happens is that vigor bills are lowered substantially and the HVAC system put-on is improved. This is a gratifying put-on of any mechanical engineer specializing in vigor and HVAC.
The guidance on this page will encourage homeowners, building owners and building operators make informed decisions approximately existing HVAC systems or highly developed upgrades.
Operation and Maintenance
The first step to achieve vigor and HVAC system optimization is load reduction. This step normally consists of a long range plan which itemizes the undertakings to be taken based on best reward on investment. Reducing your building load allows the existing HVAC system to put-on more efficiently. If a additional system or systems are creature considered, it will be more cost operating to design for the shortened load as opposed to the existing load. A few common load dwindling strategies include:
Tighten the building shell and build up additional insulation. adjunct insulation in existing buildings may not be achievable in some instances, appropriately more consideration should be aimed at the exterior shell, especially windows and doors.
Installing energy-efficient windows. This is a big item on some buildings that yet have single pane windows. The installation of double pane windows considering a thermal rupture is a great reward on investment. make distinct they are vigor STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings will even be better.
Upgrading lighting systems. The average poster building has a lighting density of 2-3 watts per square foot which maintains proper lighting levels. This is a significant allocation of the HVAC load and something like any efforts in this presidency will belittle the cooling requirement for the building. Accent lighting (sometimes called architectural lighting) are not always vigor efficient and should not be considered if you desire to cut vigor and HVAC costs. Energy-efficient lighting systems emit less heat into conditioned ventilate than older burning technology. If you have a reward ventilate plenum instead of reward ventilate ductwork, declare lighthearted troffers appropriately that some of the heat from the lights is returned to the HVAC system instead of going into the occupied area.
Selecting efficient equipment and electronic devices that have a capability magpie another will cut the sensible heat get in the space. Items to declare complement copy machines, kitchen equipment, computers and refrigerators.
Control drying by having your outside ventilate balanced. Most building owners have drawings of the native HVAC system installation. Have the drawings reviewed by a mechanical engineer to pronounce your outside ventilate flow rates conform to the latest code requirements. If no drawings are available, your mechanical engineer should yet be clever to make recommendations for improvement.
Addressing these items is your first step to reducing vigor and HVAC costs.
The second step to achieve vigor and HVAC system optimization is knowing your system. Your HVAC system is necessary to your interior environment, but it then represents a large component of your utility expenses. though it is more than the scope of this article to discuss all system, a few recommendations can be addressed. all HVAC system component has increased in efficiency more than the years. If your system is more than 13 years old, it's get older to start planning for an revolutionize to additional equipment. capably maintained residential systems have a vigor expectancy of approximately 15 years or appropriately but seem to fail at the worse times. Have a replacement plan ready for the daylight your equipment fails.
Commercial systems vary, but if your building is using packaged equipment or split systems, the same lifetime can be expected. For larger poster systems and industrial applications, the HVAC system may be more highbrow and require an individual analysis by a mechanical engineer. As I said, HVAC systems revise and no one-size-fits-all analysis works for larger systems. What all these systems have in common is they are normally fueled by electricity. Electricity cost money, appropriately any efforts in the presidency of increased efficiency is a plus.
HVAC System Tips:
Find a qualified consultant you trust. If you are a house owner or small poster building owner, find a good HVAC company or mechanic to examine and maintain your system. If you are a large poster building owner, find a poster HVAC company for normal child support and a good mechanical engineer for specific guidance. I attain not suggest using a mechanical engineer employed by the HVAC Company; find a third party engineer for open-minded information.
Verify your HVAC system load. house owners should use ACCA's calendar J accumulation method and all others should have a load conducted by a mechanical engineer. poster buildings have more requirements united to code conformance, minimum drying rates, etc and are individual to each building.
Load reduction-Read the guidance above.
Select equipment sized for your load. NEVER OVERSIZE! More-is-better does not apply for HVAC systems. It will cost more to buy the equipment as capably as put-on it. get the load and the equipment selection right the first time.
Purchase high efficiency or vigor Star equipment. Many of the additional systems complement changeable promptness drives for fans and compressors. more than the years of ownership this will be paid encourage many get older over. Compare gratifying efficiency equipment to high efficiency equipment in terms of initial cost and vigor cycle costs. Any good HVAC company or mechanical engineer can purchase this information.
Consider some form of vigor recovery for any ventilate exhausted from the building and use it to condition the incoming lighthearted air. This is ventilate you have paid to condition, appropriately extracting some of the vigor since exhausting it should be a priority.
For large poster buildings, declare conditioning the outside ventilate considering a dedicated outside ventilate unit. This will eliminate any problems united to humidity run in most instances. It will then growth occupant comfort and permit for additional downsizing of equipment.
Commercial buildings should declare economizers on their equipment. Most current codes require economizers on equipment more than 15 tons in size. Often available at a low incremental cost, these units charm in lighthearted ventilate from the outside considering the temperature (sometimes humidity) outside is belittle than the temperature inside.
Home owners and small poster building owners should install programmable thermostats. poster building owners should install a attend to Digital run (DDC) system. The investment in either of these will pay encourage more than the cost in a small amount of time. log on more below.
The third step to achieve vigor and HVAC system optimization is controlling your system.
Programmable Thermostats-The age of digital controls has made saving vigor easy. One of the best investments for the homeowner or small poster building owner is a programmable thermostat. These are easy to use and incorporate strategies based on get older scheduling. Most manufacturers find the money for 7 daylight programs and setback/setup programs which will approach the HVAC system on and off to praise your schedule and desired indoor temperature. This is a great showing off to ensure HVAC systems are used abandoned considering necessary.
DDC Systems-For the large poster building, I declare this as a must have system. Installation costs have steadily decreased and the put-on reliability has steadily increased. They can be integrated into any system and expanded as required. Some of the more popular features of these systems are optimized start/stop of the HVAC system, merged zone control, merged temperature sensor locations and drying control. The best allocation of these systems is their capability to be scaled going on to the largest of poster applications. This means you can install a easy system and build up more controls highly developed to incorporate your total HVAC system. Again, the payback is curt and capably worth the investment.
Operation and Maintenance
The fourth and last step to achieve vigor and HVAC system optimization is operation and maintenance. The most efficient HVAC systems are capably maintained. Ensure reliability, efficiency and a long vigor for your HVAC system by considering these tips.
Find a qualified consultant you trust. If you are a house owner or small poster building owner, find a good HVAC company or mechanic to examine and maintain your system. If you are a large poster building owner, find a poster HVAC company for normal maintenance. make distinct you stamp album and document all servicing considering dates, get older and names of the servicing person.
Home owners should always get a seasonal tune up. The operation of your system will revise considering the seasons of the year.
Replace your ventilate filters regularly. Don't use all less after that a MERV 5 filter to assure dust and fibers are removed. clean filters will save fan energy.
Coil Cleaning-This is always a big item overlooked by residential and poster building owners. Condenser coils total dirt and debris on their surfaces because they are outside. This makes the compressor put-on harder and results in a highly developed refrigerant temperature in your refrigeration system. Evaporator and heating coils total dust and fibers that ventilate inside your house or building. clean them at least considering a year