With the growth in advancement of HVAC technology over the last few years, the entire facility management industry is witnessing a change. A change that is for the greater good. Now facility managers are better equipped in terms of integration and interoperability. A big change factor for the industry is the growing intervention of information technology in day to day operations that a facility manager has to undertake. The era of rapid data transmission has enabled them to take more informed decision and on time. The facility managers now have the power to leverage all the assets under his purview to the maximum capacity. Being into the business we all know that HVAC systems in a typical commercial building are solely responsible for almost 40% of the power consumption. That’s a huge figure and needs keeping HVAC systems running at maximum efficiency becomes vital for the economical running of a commercial building.
Following are the points which every facility manager should consider for optimizing HVAC Efficiency.
- Submetering HVAC systems: Although measuring the power consumption of the entire building is a good idea and give you a larger view of energy consumption patterns over time. However, it does not specifically point out the problem areas. Especially knowing exactly how much power your HVAC system is consuming is out of the question. So in order to optimize the HVAC system, you would have to submeter it. This will allow one to know the exact amount of energy that an HVAC is consuming. This method will also allow a facility manager to adjust to peak demand hours if they exist in the region of the commercial building. Additionally, the process of sub-metering provides timely and accurate data and can set off critical alarms when system components are not functioning at optimum levels.
- Monitoring and Maintainance: No matter how big or small your HVAC system is, it will always remain a major energy consumer for your building. Regular maintenance and monitoring can actually help to optimize the power consumption. This is where a good facility manager can play a crucial role. It would be his duty to regularly check and inspect the HVAC system for proper functioning. Changing of filters is one such task. Regular changing of HVAC filters ensure that the indoor air quality always remains good. It also saves lots of money in terms of saving power as the cycle time of the HVAC is managed properly. Another point that every good facility manager should remember is frequently calibrating the thermostats of the HVAC system. They, should ensure that no zone of the building is over hot or over cold. The optimal and uniform temperature distribution is what will really optimize the HVAC system to work efficiently. Using an HVAC schedule and timers will also really boost the energy efficiency of the unit. HVAC should be completely shut off during no activity times. Analysis indicates that FMs that have comprehensive plans and predictive maintenance programs in place show drastic decreases in maintenance costs.
- Replacing Equipment: Light HVAC systems come with an operational life of 15 to 20 years. It can be extended with proper maintenance however it is not recommended to do so. The reason is simple that technology improves over time and better, more energy efficient models might come in the market. If the new models are more efficient than your existing one, then replacement will be a wise choice to make. The cost benefit in terms of power bills will outweigh any investments made.
We hope the blog post added some value to our readers. Please stay tuned for more such informative content in the future.