A good HVAC system is the key to maintaining a health environment in your home. Through the years many people ask about a technique to reduce their cost of energy and HVAC. They don’t want to sacrifice the comfort of their living environment, however they do want a-point-by-point plan to follow. The great thing that often happens may be that energy bills are diminished by quite a bit and the HVAC system efficiency is enhanced. This is a standard part of anyone specializing in energy and HVAC.
Optimization of The System
Step one to achieving system optimization is to reduce the load. This step normally consists of a well thought out plan itemizing required sets to take based on best return on your investment. Reducing the system load will allow it to operate properly. If a new system or systems are now being considered, it is going to be more economical to design for a load reduction versus the existing load. A few common load reduction strategies include:
1. Look at the building’s exterior and add additional insulation. Adding insulation in existing buildings is probably not achievable in some instances, so more deliberation should be aimed at the outside shell, especially doors and windows.
2. Putting in energy-efficient windows. This can be a very expensive for some properties that have single pane windows. The replacement of double pane glazed windows with a temperature break is a wonderful return on investment (roi). Make sure they’re ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings may even be better.
3. Updating lighting systems. The average industrial building has a lighting density of 2-3 watts per square foot which maintains proper lighting levels. That is a significant part of an HVAC system load and almost any efforts to optimize this specific area will reduce the cooling requirement for the structure. Vanity lights (sometimes called architectural lighting) are not guaranteed to be power efficient and should not be looked at if you wish to reduce energy and HVAC costs. Energy-efficient lighting systems discharge less heat into air conditioned space than older incandescent technology. If you have a return air plenum instead of return air ductwork, consider light troffers in order that some heat from the illumination is returned to the HVAC system instead of bleeding into the occupied areas.
4. Choosing efficient equipment and electronic devices that have the power saver option will reduce the heat gain within the space. Items to think about include copiers, food processors, personal computers and refrigerators.
5. Control ventilation by having your outside air balanced. Many building owners have blueprints of the original HVAC system installation. Have those drawings reviewed by a mechanical engineer to verify your air flow rates conform to the latest code standards. If no blueprints are available, your contractor should still be capable of suggesting tips for enhancement.
Handling these things is your first step to decreasing energy and HVAC overhead.
The second step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimisation is knowing it. Your HVAC system is critical for a comfortable setting, it also represents a big component of your utility expenses. Even though it is beyond the scope of this article to debate every system, a few suggestions could be discussed. Every system component has increased in efficiency over the years. If your system is older than 13 years old, it is time to begin planning for upgrading. Properly serviced residential systems have a life span of around fifteen years or so, but appear to fail at the worse times. Have a plan in place for when your equipment does fail.
Commercial systems vary, but when your building is using specially designed systems, a similar lifetime can be expected. For industrial or large business systems, the HVAC system could also be more advanced and require an individual analysis using a contractor. As I stated earlier, These types of systems will vary and no one-size-fits-all analysis works best for a custom system. What all these systems have in common is they’re often driven by electrical energy. Electricity is expensive, so any improvement toward better performance is a bonus.
HVAC System Ideas:
Find a qualified HVAC contractor you trust. If you are a home owner or small commercial building owner, find a good HVAC company or technician to assess and work on the system. Assuming you are a large commercial building owner, locate a commercial HVAC contractor for normal upkeep and a trusted contractor for third party guidance. We do advise against using someone who works for the HVAC Company; find a 3rd party company for impartial information.
Validate your HVAC system load. Industrial buildings have more complex settings regarding code conformance, ventilation rates, etc and therefore are individual to every building.
Choose equipment rated for the load. DO NOT OVERSIZE! More-is-better does not apply for HVAC systems. It is going to cost more to buy the equipment as well as use it. Get the load and the equipment selection right the first time.
Purchase high efficiency or Energy Star equipment. Most of the newer systems come with variable speed units for fans and compressors. Through your years of ownership this is paid back repeatedly. If you compare standard efficiency equipment to high efficiency equipment in terms of the installation cost and running expenditure. Any good HVAC company or mechanical engineer will know this.
Consider some kind of power recapture for any air exhausted from the place and use it to condition the inbound air. That is the air you have paid for, so using a little of the energy before blowing it out it should be key.
For larger buildings, think about conditioning the outside air with a specialized exterior air unit. This will eliminate any problems with humidity control in many conditions. It will also increase comfort levels and allow for further equipment optimization.
Commercial complexes might want to consider equipment economizers. Most current city codes call for economizers on equipment larger than 15 tons in size. Often offered at a low initial cost during set-up, these units use fresh air from outside when the temperatures (or moisture) outside is less than the inside temperature.
Both home owners and small business owners should think about installing programmable thermostats. Commercial buildings should install a custom digital control system. This type of investment will more than pay back the price in a short time.
Different Types o Control Systems
The third step to achieve system optimization is to control your system.
Programmable Thermostats: One of the best investments for the homeowner is a programmable thermostat. These are simple to use and incorporate strategies based on a schedule. Most manufacturers provide seven day programs which can 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 a large building, I consider this as a must have system. Installation costs are lower now and performance reliability has steadily increased. They can be incorporated into any system and expanded as needed. Some of the more accepted features of these solutions are optimized start/stop, a variety of zone controls, temperature sensing unit and ventilation control. A key benefit of these solutions is their capability to be scaled up to the largest of commercial applications. This means you’ll be able to install a something simple at first then increase the controls later to include everything. The payback is quick and really worth the investment.
Coil Cleaning: This is always a big item neglected by residential and commercial building owners. Condenser coils collect dirt and debris on their surfaces because they’re outdoors. This makes the compressor work harder and results in a higher refrigerant temperature in your refrigeration system. Dirty evaporator and heat coils circulate the dust and fibers inside the building. Clean them at least once a year
Ongoing Operations and General Maintenance
The fourth and last step to realize energy and HVAC system optimization is consistent upkeep. The most efficient systems are always serviced. You can ensure reliability, efficiency and a long life for the HVAC system by using these guidelines.
Find a professional consultant you trust. Find the best company or technician to evaluate and maintain your system. If you are a large building owner, find a commercial|an industrial} HVAC company for regular maintenance. Ensure you keep track of servicing with when they vist and what they did each time.
Home owners should always get a seasonal tune up. The operation of your system will vary depending on the season.
Change your air filters regularly. Don’t use anything less than a MERV 5 filter to make sure dust and fibers are removed. Dirty filters negate your savings and allow dust to pass through.
Summing it up
Optimizing your HVAC system will help to lower energy costs. A little time getting to know your system and familiarizing yourself with money sving methods will save money and increase the life span of your system.