An HVAC system plays an important role in every commercial or residential premises.
With an HVAC system, you will be able to achieve a more comfortable living or working environment. However this entails considerable energy costs.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your HVAC system is not only in good running order, but also operating at its maximum efficiency.
The most common thing that comes to mind is to invest in regular maintenance.
While this is of fundamental importance, it is not enough.
Below we shall discuss the 15 best ways and means which can help you achieve better HVAC efficiency.
It is important to ensure that the building is properly insulated.
In such a way you would be reducing the amount of air that escapes, and so your house or working environment will remain warmer or cooler more efficiently.
If you have a leaky duct system, the air will end up escaping from within the building.
So make sure that you use a suitable product to seal ducts properly.
This includes sealing of any cracks and holes through which air can end up escaping.
Install a Thermostat
Programmable controls and the presence of thermostats can greatly help you to increase HVAC efficiency.
Over the day there will be the need for different temperature adjustments.
If this is automated you are likely to reduce operating costs significantly.
This is something that is often not given enough importance.
In reality if your HVAC is full of dust, debris and other material, it is going to end up over-working to achieve the correct temperatures, leading to inefficient operation.
There will easily be clogs, and so the air will not be able to flow in a smooth and efficient manner.
Therefore regular cleaning is of critical importance.
Furniture & Fittings Considerations
At times, items of furniture or curtains might be preventing or partially blocking air vents and ducts.
It is important to check if this is the case as this would be reducing the efficient flow of air.
Another important consideration is the use of curtains and blinds to block as much sunlight and heat as possible during the hot summer months.
The more sunny a room is, the bigger the demand that is placed on the HVAC system to maintain cool temperatures.
A simple solution is to install window blinds and curtains to block out summer heat, as well as to reduce the amount of energy that escapes from the room.
Filters in HVAC systems easily gets dirty with dust and debris.
It is very important to clean or replace it on a regular basis because the dirtier it gets, the harder it will be for the HVAC system to work efficiently.
Clean the Drain Line
It is very important to keep the drain line clean.
Simply flushing a cup of chlorine bleach through it, and then rinsing it with water, every now and then, will do the trick.
Gutters should be cleared out on a regular basis.
Otherwise there will be a considerable amount of moisture which ultimately ends up getting into the HVAC compressor, causing it to function less efficiently.
Remove Plants & Foliage
Make sure that there are no plants or foliage on or close to the HVAC compressor.
Checking for fallen foliage especially during the autumn season is highly recommended.
Placement of the HVAC Unit
The HVAC unit should be placed in an area which is as shaded as possible.
If an HVAC unit is located in a place that is directly exposed to excessive sunlight, it will naturally end up overheating.
If this occurs, it will demand more power in order to heat up or cool your interior environment, which will increase your energy consumption.
Suitable Sized Unit
Your HVAC system should be a size proportionate to the building’s needs.
Having an HVAC system that is too small for the building in question will cause it to work harder, and thus utilise much more energy.
On the other hand if the HVAC system is too big, it may be putting out too much energy unnecessarily
Duct Size & Design
Besides ensuring the most suitable HVAC system size, duct sizing should also be given due importance.
Bear in mind that the ductwork of the HVAC system is literally running throughout the building, and its job is to distribute the air.
Should the ducting be too small it will end up reducing the airflow, and this will in turn reduce the HVAC performance and efficiency.
On the flip-side, should the ducting be too large, the conditioned or heated air will easily end up getting lost, causing the HVAC system to work even harder.
Besides the size, the design of the ductwork is also vitally important.
This includes the shape of the ducts, the overall layout and the number of bends.
All these have an effect on the efficiency of the air flow.
If an HVAC unit is resulting in frequent maintenance and fixes, it may be time to consider retrofitting.
In the long run this can save you up a considerable amount of money.
Moreover, a new HVAC system is likely to be more energy efficient due to improved technology.
Retrofitting could take different forms.
This could involve completely changing the whole system, or else replacing the compressor, adding more condenser fan controls, economizers and demand-controlled ventilation.
Regular maintenance can never be emphasised strongly enough.
Seasonal maintenance is recommended, particularly at the start and at the end of the heating and cooling seasons.
Energy efficiency is of critical importance, especially since HVAC systems are responsible for the major part of utility costs.
Different factors will help to contribute to HVAC energy efficiency, and as discussed above there are some ways and means which can help you improve energy efficiency considerably.