When was the last time you updated your HVAC system? If you are like many property managers, your answer may be “that depends”. Unless you have a brand new building, chances are your HVAC equipment was originally installed, and over the years has had significant changes and upgrades. A new piece of equipment here, a new piece of equipment there, and pretty soon your system is a hodge-podge of pieces that all work together to provide you the best service possible.
HVAC equipment can be one of the most expensive systems within your building, and with good reason. Not only does it provide the climate controls to keep building occupants warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it also works to maintain overall air quality, keeping occupants healthy and safe year round as well.
That’s a lot of demands out of one system.
And because of the expense, why change out a piece of equipment if it still has life left in it? As you deal with replacing certain pieces, and repairing others, your system will be retrofitted with new and modified parts that allow your system to continue functioning without complete replacement. In some cases, pieces may need to be changed due to industry standards, or availability issues with parts from the original system.
A common retrofit that is easy to do and is necessary as the industry standards have changed is with a system’s refrigerant. Freon has been phased out in the use of heating and cooling systems, making some building owners choose to retrofit their existing AC units or heat pumps to accommodate alternative refrigerants. New lines may be required based on the refrigerant used and the equipment needed to keep the system in place. While the old system may work just fine, it needs slight modifications to ensure it runs efficiently with the new refrigerant in place.
Another easy change that can have long lasting effects is with a building’s thermostat. Studies show that up to 70 percent of commercial buildings still use standard pneumatic HVAC control systems. By retrofitting the system with a wireless control system, you can easily make your entire building’s energy system more energy efficient, right from day one. By retrofitting with today’s technology, you can easily have the capabilities to:
- Monitor temperature and pressure through a wireless device
- Have immediate notification of deviations
- Program temperature setbacks for various times throughout the week
- Provide diagnostics
- Automatically self-calibrate the system
Even with these few, simple changes, the effects can be long lasting, having the potential of lowering your overall energy costs substantially.
If your HVAC is a hodge-podge of working pieces that all provide you with a system you’ve used for years, you may be able to increase your efficiency simply through regular maintenance and retrofitting a few new parts here and there. To keep your building’s HVAC system running strong doesn’t have to mean costly upgrades and replacing the entire system; it simply means knowing what the right pieces are to replace to give you the efficiency you demand. Let’s get started with an energy audit today.