Cut Commercial / Industrial HVAC Energy Costs:
The three key elements that drive a building’s overall energy use are:
- The HVAC system—typically THE most important for commercial buildings
- The building’s overall thermal envelope; and
- Large loads, computers, and lights in commercial buildings and industrial processes in industrial-type buildings.
System sizing: Most of the intersection between HVAC systems and energy use occurs in the design stage. If the system is improperly designed, this can lead to inefficiencies, which drive energy costs higher than they have to be—some, but not all of these design problems, can be addressed after the fact.
Building envelope leakage: Often, HVAC energy “waste” is actually driven by a thermally-inefficient building that is necessary to maintain reasonable comfort. Many commercial buildings in the U.S. are old. As of 1999, there were more than 900,000 commercial buildings that were built in 1945 or before!
In such cases, it’s not duct leakage that’s the problem – it’s building envelope leakage! Hot air flows in during summers; cold air in winters. Result: You pay more to create indoor conditions that are comfortable.
Older equipment: On the subject of older buildings, it is worthwhile to determine the age of your HVAC system. There have been numerous technological advances and federally-mandated energy efficiency increases for HVAC equipment. Even if your equipment was “state-of-the-art” at the time of installation—you might be suffering from technological disadvantages.
Older HVAC systems might provide heating and cooling, keep humidity reasonable, and move air around. Everyone inside the building might be comfortable most of the time! But you may be paying a lot more than you need to – every month – to do it!
Waste heat: Additionally, activities and equipment within your building introduce heat into the conditioned environment. Do you have a lot of operating equipment inside your walls? It’s likely that, no matter what it is—from a computer or photocopier to something more “industrial”—it is venting a certain amount of waste heat.
Even an office building lighting system generates heat! In summer conditions, that heat adds to the building’s cooling load.
Controls: Even with a state-of-the-art building envelope, a minimum of indoor waste heat, and recently updated HVAC equipment, you could be losing money due to system operational inefficiencies. HVAC Expertise contractors understand all the elements of a superior HVAC system and how to most effectively control the system.
Maintenance: Appropriately planned maintenance is the least-cost insurance a building owner can purchase. Regularly changed filters keep airflow at optimal levels, while protecting the duct and occupants from easily-caught dust and particles. Regular check ups of refrigerant levels, belt drive, etc. assure lowest operating cost and help to protect against expensive catastrophic failure of equipment and building HVAC system downtime.
Whether you’re building new or have an older building, ArtisanHVAC will help you find and analyze options for boosting performance and minimizing costs by designing a program to meet your specific needs.