One of the most important and often overlooked business expenses is operating costs. HVAC systems make up about 40% of a building’s electric costs, making it extremely important to consider and find ways to reduce HVAC waste.
Here are several things businesses can do to prevent energy waste, become more efficient, and cut costs.
1. Check blocked vents
Blocked vents require up to 25% more energy to distribute air. There may be vents blocked in the building that prevent vital airflow. As a result, HVAC systems need to work harder to cool or heat the building, causing energy waste and higher utility bills.
Clear distribution of air is essential for energy efficiency. To avoid energy waste caused by blocked vents, carefully assess the area around each vent. Employees may have to rearrange furniture around the office to ensure no vents are blocked. Do not keep vents closed; doing so can change the way air is distributed and cause an imbalance to the operation of the HVAC system.
2. Evaluate exhaust air
Exhaust air from old HVAC systems prevents efficient cooling and heating because more energy is required to cool or heat incoming outside air. One way to combat this is make use of heat-recovery technology that transfers energy from exhaust air to incoming outside air. This way, businesses can recover 50-80% of energy waste. Heat recovery technologies can include heat exchangers, regenerators, passive air pre-heaters and waste heat boilers.
3. Install advanced control sensors
When the ventilation system is running at max operating power, it acts as if the room is filled to capacity, wasting a lot of energy. For example, a large room, such as a conference room, can feel much colder than the rest of the building due to a lack of control sensors.
Installing advanced control sensors can improve a ventilation system’s operating power. The controls can count the number of people in a room and adjust the temperature accordingly. Control sensors can reduce energy use by almost 40%. A typical 500,000-square-foot office would save thousands of dollars each year.
4. Get programmable thermostats
Programmable thermostats better monitor the building’s heating or cooling output. The temperature will automatically be adjusted when no one is in the building since it is not necessary to keep office temperature constant when no one is around. Setting programable thermostats to be a little cooler in winter and warmer in the summer can have a big impact.
5. Clean dirty air filters
Dirty air filters slow down airflow and make HVAC systems work harder to keep the building at a comfortable temperature. Replacing air filters monthly, especially during extremely hot or cold weather, can aid in avoiding wasting energy. This is something anyone can do.
Clean air filters can lower air conditioner’s consumption by 5-15%. Keeping air filters clean can also help avoid dirt and dust build-up, which can cause expensive maintenance repairs.
Related Topic: The Benefits of HVAC Controls for Commercial Buildings
6. Check for unsealed ducts
Unsealed ducts contribute to 20% of waste by circulating cool and warm air throughout the building. Ducts can either be sealed or insulated improperly. To alleviate sealing concerns, businesses can ensure that all ducts have sealant or metal-blacked tape over the seams and connections. Ducts should be wrapped in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter.
7. Replace old HVAC equipment
HVAC systems that are older than 10 years cause much higher utility bills. Replacing older HVAC equipment can save up to 20% of energy costs. Have one of EnergyLink’s professional contractors give conduct an HVAC system audit to see if an upgrade to a high-efficient newer model is recommended.
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