Summer is here and everyone wants to reduce their ENERGY COST. Before you can address reducing your energy cost you need to understand your commercial electrical bill. The first step in understanding your energy bill is to identify how much power you use and how your usage affects your rates.
REDUCING YOUR ENERGY COST
Energy Usage: The first and most basic way to reduce your energy cost is to use less energy! While this sounds simple, it often requires an engineering study to measure and verify your usage. As a first step, let’s look at the areas and systems in your facility that uses the most energy.
HVAC Equipment typically represents 44% of your energy usage. (Space heating, cooling & ventilation) In this issue of LEEDer we look at how much energy your industry typically uses and how you can reduce your HVAC energy cost.
Filter Replacement –In order to operate, HVAC equipment must have a specific amount of air passing over its evaporator coil. When air filters are not replaced, which should be done generally every 90 days, they become coated with dirt and the air flow is restricted. Dirt reduces the required volume of air the system needs to function as designed.
What does this mean for you in the summer…. if there is not enough air over the evaporator coil in the cooling cycle, the coil temperature drops, and ice forms on the coil reducing the flow of air even more. The compressor begins to work harder (called “liquid slugging”) causing premature failure of the compressor.
In the winter months, the impact of air restriction during the heating cycle is the heat exchanger gets too hot, causing oxidation, which reduces the life of your heat exchanger.
Both types of these repairs are expensive, not to mention the increased energy spend incurred by the systems running longer struggling to provide the space temperatures desired.
Another issue resulting from not having a scheduled filter replacement program is poor indoor air quality (IAQ). With less turnover of air, the air quality becomes poor and productivity reduces. The industry standard has been MERV 8 for years and now has recently been increased to MERV 10 in accordance with the ANSI/ASHRAE 52.2.2012 Supplement Standards.
Air Cooled Condenser Coil Cleaning –Air flow is essential in enabling heat to move through the condensing coil in an air-cooled system. When dirt and debris build up inside or blanket the finned surface the ability for the system to reject heat is obstructed.
As the system runs, operating temperatures and pressures increase internally, sometimes to the point of shutting down the system and other times increasing wear setting up other components in the unit for premature failure. Resulting in downtime, repairs and increased energy spending.
Condenser coil cleaning is a service typically scheduled for late springtime; however, depending on how critical the environment is and run time of the systems it may be necessary to clean coils twice a year.
Replacing Older Equipment With High Efficiency HVAC Systems, Motors, VFDs and Lighting
Replacing old Low Efficiency HVAC Equipment with new High Efficiency Equipment can generate increased efficiencies of up to 50%.
To see how Target reduced their HVAC Energy Cost read this case study generated by the U.S. Department of Energy. READ MORE link to Case Study Rooftop Unit replacement PDF
Replacing old motors with high efficiency motors and installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on fans and pumps can reduce your energy usage up to 41%.
To see how 3M reduced their motor energy usage read this case study generated by the U.S. Department of Energy. READ MORE link to Case Study Motors PDF
Replacing existing lighting fixtures can reduce your lighting energy usage.
To see how CHRISTUS Health reduced their lighting energy usage 61% read this case study generated by the U.S. Department of Energy. READ MORE link to Case Study ILC CHRISTUS Health PDF
Vice President of Operations
Director of Business Development