HVAC Optimization: Getting the Most From Your System

June 30, 2016 by Jaylin Krell

An HVLS fan and HVAC ductsAn HVAC system is the backbone of any commercial building. Without sufficient heating, cooling and airflow, the building will be uncomfortable for people and unsuitable for storing goods and equipment.

Given this fact, it’s no surprise that the demand for HVAC equipment and accessories continues to grow. A recent study from research firm Frost & Sullivan showed that the demand for HVAC equipment in North America was at $17 billion in 2014 and will grow at a rate of over 5% CAGR through at least 2020.

With HVAC systems getting larger, more complex, and in many cases more expensive, it’s important to consider what can be done to maximize the efficiency of your facility’s HVAC system so it runs properly and does not increase your energy bills.

Monitor your systems carefully

This step is key to optimizing your HVAC system. If you don’t know what’s going on with your heating, ventilation and cooling, how can you hope to improve it? A careful process for monitoring your HVAC is the foundation for an efficient system. Take steps to ensure that your thermostats, energy meters, and other HVAC accessories are well calibrated and monitoring your system effectively.

Consider an energy audit

Not sure exactly where your energy budget is going? Think about conducting a comprehensive audit of your entire facility to determine what changes can be made to improve efficiency. During these audits you can conduct walkthroughs of the facility, examine its lighting, evaluate air quality, and interview building occupants.

If you’re looking for specific guidelines on an energy audit, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has created a helpful set of procedures that will guide you through energy audits on three different levels of effort.

Look into remote controls and intelligent sensors

How much control do you have over your building systems? If you’re not sure, it means there is probably room for you to improve the way you operate your fans, machinery, HVAC, and other building elements.

Remote controls make it a snap to adjust your systems on the fly if the temperature changes quickly or you receive an unexpected delivery or shipment. The more control you have over your building systems, the easier it is to make sure your HVAC is running properly.

Evaluate your lighting and machinery

It might not seem like lighting and facility equipment have much to do with your HVAC, but many of these elements actually give off heat that affects the climate of your space. The EPA says that lighting is the largest source of wasted heat.

If you are having to run your HVAC at a higher level to cool down your space because of heat created by ancillary building systems, you may want to evaluate alternate solutions. Try to find energy-efficient lighting and machines that don’t emit much heat.

Choose an HVLS fan

If you want a surefire way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, investing in an HVLS fan is a great idea. When you pair the right HVLS fan with your building’s HVAC, the result is threefold: a more comfortable climate, lower energy bills, and a system that works exactly the way you need it to.

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