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Light Commercial HVAC Services FAQs
How Old Must My System Be Before Replacement Saves Me Money?
If you have a system that’s only 5 years old or less, the savings probably won’t offset the cost of installation. However, a much older system, even if it’s great condition and running well may be far less efficient, to the point you’ll save money with an upgrade. Specifically, look for major ratings like SEER ratings on air conditioners, AFUE on furnaces, HSPF on combined heat pump devices and general operation costs from year to year. A professional can help you determine whether a new system will save enough money to offset the cost of replacement.
Another factor to consider is switching to an entirely new type of system. Geothermal heating or cooling or evaporative cooling are extremely effective in reducing costs, especially if you have a much older system to start with.
What is Energy Management?
Increasingly, businesses are turning to energy management systems to reduce the overall cost of heating and cooling their commercial buildings. More than 35% of all US buildings with 100,000 or more square feet use these systems and save a tremendous amount of money on their heating and cooling costs as a result. Significant savings can be had in smaller buildings as well.
The idea is that you centralize all energy related decisions. Specifically, all heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are placed on centralized timers and sensors. One terminal will tell you how much energy is being used and where you can reduce usage. Better yet, you can access these systems from any computer via a web login.
What Will I Need for Effective Air Cleaning?
There are a lot of air cleaning and purification devices on the market for commercial systems. Most of those devices are designed to act as add-ons. Usually these air cleaners and purifiers will integrate directly into your air handler, immediately impacting the air flowing in to your building. Humidification and dehumidification options can both be important upgrades as well.
One thing to consider is prospective energy loss. If you have an extensive ventilation system in place, there is always a risk that you will lose energy when the fans run. A management system will help keep this from happening, or you can upgrade to a system that uses only a limited amount of energy to ventilate exhaust.
How Big Does My System Need to Be?
Roughly 30% of all commercial HVAC systems are improperly sized. It doesn’t matter if your system is too small or too large – the cost will add up quickly if you don’t have the right size in your building. Make sure you call someone who can perform heat load tests on large buildings (10,000+ square feet) and adjust as necessary to reduce costs without compromising your heating or cooling needs. Having the right size system for your space will ensure it runs more efficiently, distributes even heating and cooling, and it will likely last longer.
How Big of a Rooftop Unit Do I Need?
If you opt for a rooftop unit, the size will depend on how much space you need to cool. Most major brands offer rooftop units in sizes ranging from 3 tons up to 150 or more tons. Options within this range are even adequate for large office buildings. The key is to determine what type of cooling system you want and what extras, like building management systems, you would like included.