Ensuring HVAC Energy Efficiency

Technician fixing HVAC systemHVAC systems are one of the biggest energy consumers in a commercial building.

According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, HVAC systems consume 39 per cent of energy in a typical office building. From this number, cooling systems consume around 110 MJ/m2. This creates a need to reduce overall energy consumption and increase energy efficiency, without compromising environmental comfort.

Measures must be done to help HVAC systems overcome the different energy loads that work against their current conditions. You need to ensure your HVAC system, and its components, perform reliably and efficiently over its life cycle. By ensuring that your system and its accompanying components are working in their prime, you can achieve maintenance savings and ensure that the system does not waste energy.

Understanding the Life Expectancy of HVAC Systems

Although the lifespan of HVAC systems depends on how you maintain it, knowing the life expectancy of HVAC components gives you a guide when it’s time for a tuning, commissioning or retrofitting.

The life expectancy of HVAC systems and their components are detailed below:

  • Short (2-5 years) – Air filters, bearings and drive belts
  • Mid (5-10 years) – Split AC units, tenacity fit out, motors and air distribution and control
  • Long (10-20 years) – Cooling towers, fans, pumps (including condensate pumps), packaged AC units, variable air volume units, chillers, boilers and building automation and controls

Monitor HVAC Energy Cost using an Online Calculator

There are tools available online that can help businesses compute their HVAC system’s efficiency. In 2014, Sustainability Victoria developed Australia’s first HVAC efficiency rating tool, the Calculating Cool Online HVAC Rating Tool.

In a Calculating Cool case study, an office building that utilised the system achieved 46 per cent energy savings. The initial findings revealed that the building’s previous HVAC system was using 225 per cent more energy than needed. Over the course of a year, the business was able to reduce its base building energy consumption with the help of Calculating Cool.

When HVAC systems are working within their lifespan and companies utilise efficiency tools, energy consumption can be significantly reduced. This, in turn, will lead to minimised costs and greater savings.