HVAC systems are the heart and lungs of a building. For many organizations, implementing an HVAC upgrade is difficult and costly. Luckily, there are ways to improve your system that do not cost a lot of money.
- Equipment Scheduling. Often, your HVAC equipment will operate during hours when it is supposed to be off, even when the automation system says it’s off. Checking the building automation system (BAS) to make sure it is operating properly is quick, easy, and can save a lot of money. If you really want to save energy in your building, don’t stop with HVAC – buy power strips that automatically turn off after a period of time. Educating occupants of the building is key to a successful energy program, so consult them throughout the process.
- Sensor Error. Problems with sensors are a common source of energy waste. Thermostats may read incorrectly. Pay attention to where the thermostat is placed. If it is just above a microwave or coffee maker, this can interfere with the sensor. Likewise, if it is closed in by shelving or boxes, it is impossible for the thermostat to be sensing correctly. Calibrate the sensors on a regular basis is a low-to-no cost fix to conserve energy.
- Simultaneous Heating and Cooling. Many HVAC systems are oversized, so they have enough capacity in order to overcome common problems. If the problem is overheating in warm weather, the system can respond with more cooling. It seems like a good thing, since you won’t be too hot or too cold, but it is extremely costly. If you cannot afford to install submeters, then a monthly assessment of systems will need to be done to reduce energy use. Look for a trend away from what is normal, like a water-cooled chiller using more energy than it has in the past. It may also be a sensor problem.
- Outdoor Air. In order to maintain good indoor air quality, you must bring in the proper amount of outside air. Most buildings bring in too much outside air. Make sure to have your outside air damper at its minimum position. Unbalanced airflow causes cold or hot, humid air, along with dirt and leaves to be brought in through open overhead doors, cracks in walls and window framing. Again, a simple check can save you a lot of dollars and a lot of headaches.
Don’t forget HVAC maintenance – Heatmasters can help!
Courtesy of facilitiesnet