No matter the size of your building, chances are your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are using a good chunk of energy. While HVAC systems are crucial to maintaining an optimal temperature in your facility, there are steps you can take to lengthen the lives of your units and reduce the number of hefty repairs.
Generally, these units are on most of the day and just like any piece of equipment, they wear out. To ensure that you do not have to replace these expensive units prematurely, it’s important that you stay on top of their regular cleaning and maintenance. This includes changing the air filters at least once a month, cleaning out coils as well as checking and sealing any leaks in the system.
Aside from cleaning and maintenance, there are low-cost solutions to reducing energy consumption, such as installing economizers onto your units. An economizer takes the air from outside of your building and uses it to cool the inside of your building. Provided that the air outside of your building is below the set temperature and humidity level, dampers will control the amount of air let in and recirculate it throughout the building. This is known as “free cooling” because the HVAC system gets a break from the mechanical cooling process. Once the outside air rises above that set temperature, the dampers will close, and the mechanical cooling process will begin again. While economizers can be easily retrofitted to existing units, they do not all work in the same way. Do your research and talk to an expert.
If you want to take your energy efficiency plan a step further, you can install a variable speed drive or VSD to your units. VSD is key to ensuring that your HVAC system is running efficiently and saving you money. If your current HVAC system is not equipped with a VSD then it only has two settings, on and off. You might be asking yourself, what’s wrong with that? Think of your car. If your car could only go from off to full speed, not only would it be dangerous and unnecessary, but it would put a lot of stress on your motor and cost you a lot of money in gas. The same idea goes for your HVAC.
The VSD allows for a “soft start” which provides more motor control and functionality. A variable speed drive makes your HVAC smarter by providing heating or cooling on a supply and demand basis, which means the motor is not running at all times. This reduces stress on your motor, lowers energy use and results in less mechanical issues.
Have questions on HVAC efficiency? Give us a call at 312-265-3971.