Add Efficiency to Your Commercial HVAC System with These Small Changes
February 14, 2018
The average commercial building attributes 40% of its energy costs to heating, cooling, and ventilation, according to estimates from the US Department of Energy. For the typical office building, that equates to 7.5% of its annual operating expenses, on average.
Finding efficiencies in your facility’s HVAC system can result in significant savings on operating costs. But it can also yield even bigger returns in non-energy benefits. Improvements in comfort, indoor air quality, and equipment reliability can all be achieved with HVAC maintenance and upgrades.
No matter your industry, by improving your HVAC equipment you’ll find a way to improve your business.
- Hospitality – Improved guest comfort increases the likelihood of positive online reviews and more return visits
- Healthcare – Improved comfort and indoor air quality helps patients feel confident about their care and possibly reduce their stay
- Grocery – Better temperature control keeps food on the shelves fresh
- Manufacturing – Better temperature control reduces employee fatigue and improves safety conditions
- Offices – Improved comfort leads to gains in employee productivity
- Data centers – Improved temperature control leads to better server reliability and improved data security
If this sounds great but you’re worried about the large capital expense of replacing your facility’s HVAC system, know that there are a number of smaller changes you can make that will improve efficiency.
- Planned and predictive maintenance. Many companies are reactive when it comes to HVAC maintenance and that can lead to shutdowns and high repair bills. FacilitiesNet.com reveals that companies with comprehensive planned and predictive maintenance programs can reduce total maintenance costs by as much as 50%.
- Variable speed drives (VSDs). Most HVAC fans have two settings: on or off. Adding VSDs to your HVAC system can give you greater control over fan speed. A small reduction in flow can yield big savings. Reducing fan speed by 20% can decrease energy use by 35%.
- Controls. With controls like occupancy sensors as a part of your HVAC system, equipment will power up only when it needs to. Integrating with an energy management system can allow you to set schedules based on time of day or production needs. A Department of Energy study finds commercial buildings can save nearly 40% on heating and cooling with HVAC controls.
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