The concept of sustainability has gained interest in direct proportion to the recent increases in energy costs. There is a frequently overlooked initiative that can have the most significant impact on reducing energy usage in buildings and can set the stage for future efficiency initiatives: retrocommissioning.
Designing, constructing, or renovating high-performance buildings requires a whole building approach. This differs from the traditional design/build process, as the design team examines the integration of all building components and systems and determines how they best work together to save energy and reduce environmental impact.
Green school programs are touted mainly for saving energy, but research at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) indicates that bettering a school’s indoor environment also increases health and comfort, which in turn promotes increased attendance, student attentiveness, and teaching effectiveness.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an effort to help Americans save on their summer cooling bills with advice on how to properly program their thermostat. HVAC contractors can pass along these tips to customers to help them stay cool while keeping more cash in their pockets.
The energy used by HVAC systems is based on the resistance of the air passing through the filter; the lower the filter’s resistance, the lower the energy consumption will be. However, even though one speaks of filters, it is really the filter media that has the biggest effect on minimizing energy consumption.
operating environment, conditions of use (or misuse), and quality of preventive
maintenance determine how quickly motor parts degrade. The best safeguard against thermal damage is
avoiding conditions that contribute to overheating. Bearing failures account for nearly
one-half of all motor failures.
Air-cooling evaporators used in ammonia systems have traditionally been made using galvanized (zinc-coated) carbon steel. There are other metals that are compatible with ammonia, including stainless steel and aluminum. Aluminum, in fact, can provide several benefits.
Air duct leakage should be a concern to both the designer and the
building owner because of its potential impact on initial construction costs,
energy usage, and system performance. No matter the size, the total benefit of the
duct system is based and measured on the peak fan efficiency for that system.
Boiler “short cycling” occurs when an oversized boiler quickly satisfies process or space heating demands, and then shuts down until heat is again required. This article points out the inefficiency of short cycling and provides suggested actions to maximize boiler efficiency.