Optimize Your HVAC Efficiency to Reduce HVAC Maintenance Costs

 

Why you should start by optimizing your HVAC maintenance costs (and not something else)

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning efforts of US buildings account for more than 40 percent of total energy consumption per year, making it the most impactful area of a building to optimize. Because this aspect of your building has so much room for optimization, its a good idea to reduce HVAC maintenance costs to save on operating expenses as a whole.

 

The Value in “Going Green”

Energy Manager Today estimates that the average building wastes over 30 percent of the energy it uses to run itself. Because commercial buildings in the US account for 19 percent of all annual energy consumption, and 36 percent of all electricity consumption, the impact on the environment can be immense. Further, this energy usage can be translated to over $190 billion in expenditure each year, illustrating major room for optimization in this arena.

What is the impact of improving building efficiency? The Rock Mountain Institute discovered that building efficiency investments of $0.5 trillion can provide over triple the return in savings, resulting in $1.9 trillion in energy reduction annually. In addition to overall energy efficiency, the US Green Building Council found that green building owners were able to boost their ROI by 19.2 percent for existing projects and 9.9 percent for new ones. This difference can mean great things for your building’s operational expenses.

If saving money for your facility is of importance to you, try putting these cost-saving efforts into practice, and realize a 19 percent reduction in operational costs when compared to non-green buildings (*per US Green Building Council).

 

How you can start optimizing your HVAC efficiency

The easiest way to begin optimizing your HVAC efficiency is by selecting the right filter for your system. When most facility managers submit their orders for filter products, the least expensive initial cost is usually the most attractive. However, research and calculations can tell us quite the opposite at times, and there are various instances when the lowest-priced filters end up being the highest-cost solutions after their life cycle.

Before deciding which filters are right for your facility, it is important to do your research. Utilize educational websites like ASHRAE, or talk to ventilation experts like qlair before coming to your conclusion.

We will use an example from an ASHRAE Journal (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) article to illustrate the need to consult expert.

*Figure 1: If a facility manager purchases a filter with the cheapest upfront costs, he will actually see a more expensive total investment after a year, compared to the more expensive filter model.

*Figure 2: In this next example, it is apparent that purchasing the lower-priced filter product will result in the lowest upfront cost, as well as the lowest total investment in terms of the life cycle.

Picking the correct HVAC filter is tricky. Without the proper calculations paired with the correct data tracking, it can seem impossible to know when you are actually getting the best deal. It can be time-consuming to do so on your own, but optimizing your filter selection and maintenance schedule can help your facility realize significant savings each year.

More advanced strategies for reducing HVAC maintenance costs:

If you are truly dedicated to increasing the operational efficiency of your facility, it is important to stay up to date with the latest technology in facility management. Many digital solutions exist that allow for a hands-off approach to HVAC optimization, while also increasing the effectiveness of your efforts.

One option is to use sensors to monitor you filter load in real time. At qlair, we use filter life cycle monitors to measure pre-filter and final filter pressure changes. We then analyze this data to accurately identify the most efficient times to change your filters. This ensures that your filter change outs are scheduled in a manner that leads to the lowest operational and material costs. In fact, doing so has allowed some to realize energy savings of 15% or more.

Another option is to continuously monitor your indoor and outdoor air quality for complete clarity into your indoor environment. Here is why it’s important: if you’re not monitoring your indoor air quality, then you will not be able to track the effectiveness of your filters given the status of the outdoor environment. If you are constantly monitoring the air quality inside and outside of your facility, you can track down critical areas in your facility and make informed decisions on how to improve certain aspects of your facility.

At qlair, we use a combination of indoor air quality and filter life cycle monitoring to optimize not only your HVAC maintenance costs, but to save energy and increase the health and safety of your facility for your tenants.

 

Take the Guessing Out and Work With Experts

We use real-time, data-driven analytics to figure out exactly what your building needs. Making sure you have selected the correct filter and schedule can be complicated and worrisome, so let us do it for you! We can identify the correct filter needed and provide a filter life cycle schedule that allows you to focus your attention elsewhere. We use the data derived from our digital solution to understand your indoor environment and make it our goal to have it running most efficiently.

Interested Improving Your Facilities’ Operational Efficiency?

Get Our New Guide: “20 Facilities Management Strategies for Reducing Operating Costs”

 

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