Historically HVAC systems have represented a significant percentage of a building’s cost. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), HVAC systems account for approximately 40 percent of the energy used in U.S. commercial and residential buildings. This creates a prime target for cost reductions as building designers, owners and operators look to energy-efficient building designs and technologies as methods of cutting costs and saving on the annual operating budget. Adopting such energy-efficient design and technologies for new office buildings can cut energy costs by as much as 50 percent and according to the DOE, in existing buildings, renovations that replace older systems with more efficient technology can yield savings of up to 30 percent. The DOE goes on to note that a quick way to realize savings of 10 percent or more – at little or no cost – is to effectively operate and maintain existing systems. HVAC systems are an ideal candidate for this type of effort. Even better news: effectively operating and maintaining an existing HVAC system can provide additional benefits such as improved tenant comfort and indoor air quality, which can have significant returns with respect to tenant satisfaction and reduced tenant turnover.
There are a number of things facility managers can do to make sure they’re effectively operating and maintaining HVAC systems. Begin by reviewing ASHRAE (American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This sets the minimum energy efficiency required by most building codes.
Keep your facilities energy cost down by utilizing the following ICC recommended services.