Let's talk about saving 30-40% of your electricity bill. That's how much you are probably over paying because your heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) are not in optimal working order. The licensed technicians at Michigan HVAC Pros, Downriver's premier source for heating and cooling maintenance say a good HVAC system is the key to maintaining a comfortable, healthy and interior environment. Home and business owners don't want to sacrifice the interior environmental conditions, but they also struggle to keep up with regular maintenance. If this sounds like you, it might be time to call in the pros! Here is a simple 4-step plan to optimize HVAC systems before the next big heat wave or cold front moves in.
The first step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is load reduction. This step normally consists of a long range plan which itemizes the actions to be taken based on best return on investment. Reducing your building load allows the existing HVAC system to operate more efficiently.
The second step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is knowing your system. Your HVAC system is critical to your interior environment, but it also represents a large component of your utility expenses. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss every system, a few recommendations can be addressed. Every HVAC system component has increased in efficiency over the years. If your system is more than 13 years old, it's time to begin planning for an upgrade to new equipment. Well maintained residential systems have a life expectancy of about 15 years or so but seem to fail at the worse times. Have a replacement plan ready for the day your equipment fails.
Commercial systems vary, but if your building is using packaged equipment or split systems, the same lifetime can be expected. For larger commercial systems and industrial applications, the HVAC system may be more complex and require an individual analysis by a mechanical engineer. What all these systems have in common is they are normally fueled by electricity. Electricity cost money, so any efforts in the direction of increased efficiency is a plus.
The age of digital controls has made saving energy easy. One of the best investments for the homeowner or small commercial building owner is a programmable thermostat. These are simple to use and incorporate strategies based on time scheduling. Most manufacturers offer 7 day programs and setback/setup programs which will turn the HVAC system on and off to compliment your schedule and desired indoor temperature. This is a great way to ensure HVAC systems are used only when necessary.
For the large commercial building, popular features include optimized start/stop of the HVAC system, multiple zone control, multiple temperature sensor locations and ventilation control. The best part of these systems is their ability to be scaled up to the largest of commercial applications. This means you can install a simple system and add more controls later to incorporate your whole HVAC system. Again, the payback is short and well worth the investment.
Operation and Maintenance
The fourth and last step optimizing your HVAC system is ensuring reliability, efficiency and a long working life. The best way to achieve this is to find a qualified HVAC consultant you can trust. If you are a home owner or small commercial building owner, find a good HVAC company or mechanic to evaluate and maintain your system. If you are a large commercial building owner, find a commercial HVAC company for normal maintenance. Make sure you record and document all servicing with dates, times and names of the servicing person.
Upgrading to efficient heating and air conditioning equipment and implementing automated features like programmable thermostats have the potential to save thousands of dollars over the course of just ten years. If you have been putting off this type of household overhaul because it's too expensive, hopefully this article can illustrate how easily an energy efficient HVAC system can be installed with the help of a trusted pro.