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HVAC Cost Control

November 3rd, 2010

If you want to save energy in your facility, look at your HVAC system. You try to keep every piece of your equipment running until it breaks, so why not do the same with your HVAC system? Don’t think you’re cutting costs by ignoring it; it will actually cost you more in the end.

Maintain the HVAC system itself

  • Change your filter
  • Place the thermostats in the correct places
  • Get your belts tightened
  • Install the correct-sized filters
  • Unclog coils
  • Clean fan blades to increase air flow up to 50%

Prevent scale build-up

  • This hidden factor can cause massive energy inefficiencies, because it is an insulator which significantly reduces heat-transfer. If scale build-up becomes as little as 0.6 mm, additional energy cost can be more than $30,000 per year.*
  • Treat scale build-up with a chemical or non-chemical program. Just make sure that the treatment program can take care of scale, corrosion and microbiological control.

Retrofit your HVAC system

  • If your central plant utilizes boiler and chillers for heating and cooling, consider retrofitting the HVAC mechanical system with pressure independent valves. Savings on utility costs have been shown to be within 35-45% within two years. If you’re building new, have these valves installed right away and enjoy low utility costs from the get-go.
  • Correctional Complex in Norfolk, Virginia, upgraded their system by installing a complex-wide energy management and control system. They also installed steam trap upgrades and replaced two 1,500-horsepower steam plants with the expectation of a positive ROI.

California has also done some major overhauling to their corrections facilities because of the governor’s bill that was passed. To see a list of facilities and their energy construction costs and annual savings, go to

In our next blog, we will talk about things you can do within your building to prevent your HVAC system from consuming massive amounts of energy.

*Some of these tips were taken from our LinkedIn group, BOMA.

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