A well-conducted HVAC energy audit examines and measures how your system currently performs. It also shows you how to boost your system’s energy efficiency.
Did you know that HVAC performance declines over time in almost all buildings? The heating and cooling components in mid-to large-sized commercial buildings are a compilation of components from multiple manufacturers and built by multiple contractors that must be programmed and sequenced to work together seamlessly. Over time, building performance drifts out of tolerance from the original design intent, with energy and operational costs increasing as a result.
Therefore, even a new facility that was commissioned appropriately may not be meeting operational expectations, especially when it comes to energy efficiency. HVAC energy audits provide plant owners and managers with valuable data and insights that help determine both the overall health and performance as well as concrete means of improvement.
There are four major benefits to a properly conducted HVAC energy audit.
Equipment Longevity Comprehensive audits will evaluate equipment operating hours and current HVAC control strategies to look for overlooked efficiency improvements. Implementing these measures will improve efficiency of plant equipment and in doing so, reduce the wear and tear that can shorten equipment life.
Hidden Energy Drains Some operating issues are obvious, such as leaky valves or aging pumps. However, the vast majority of inefficiencies aren’t discoverable by the naked eye. Often, it’s less evident issues like setpoints inconsistent with actual plant conditions that are running up energy consumption. Comprehensive HVAC energy audits work with operators to review control strategies, equipment inventory and mechanical configurations so that energy waste and correctable inefficiencies can be pinpointed.
Overlooked Calibration Building automation systems rely on a network of sensors for proper control and cycling of plant equipment. When left uncalibrated, plant operating data is compromised and energy can be wasted. Proper audits will assess each piece of equipment, from chillers to sensors, to ensure all components are operating in their appropriate range.
Utility Rebates & Incentives Many utility companies will not only cover HVAC energy audit fees but will pay to implement the recommend energy conservation measures (ECMs) identified in the audit, as well.
Of note: These programs all require a method of measurement and/or verification to confirm the actual savings were achieved so be sure to work with a qualified contractor who can present detailed calculations as to how they will deliver the audit’s energy reduction figures.
A major portion of energy consumption in a building is due to HVAC systems, with up to 30% coming from cooling production alone. Having an plant energy assessment performed by seasoned engineers who are experienced in both HVAC equipment and mechanical systems ensures that all efficiency opportunities are being reviewed.
Interested in an HVAC energy audit of your site? Answer 3 questions to get a high-level savings estimate to determine whether a complimentary on-site assessment of your site would be productive.