How to optimise heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

How to optimise heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

Energy Efficiency Advice
Published on 4 February 2021

If you operate a retail outlet, supermarket, hospitality business or run an office or commercial building, you’re likely to rely on a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. They control the temperature of your heating and cooling, humidity, air circulation and filtering. HVAC systems have a big role to play in keeping your workforce feeling comfortable so it’s little wonder they can account for up to 40 to 50% of your total energy bill. 

There are benefits of reducing the energy consumption of your HVAC: 

  • cut your business energy bill
  • minimise repair and maintenance costs 
  • improve reliability of your systems
  • apply sustainable practices by reducing your carbon footprint
  • enhance working conditions for employees.

Here are some tips to optimise HVAC systems and save:

Installation of meters and timers – Meters are a great way to track your energy – how much and when you’re using it most. They can also identify if your unit isn’t working efficiently. Meters can help save 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Timers can switch your system on and off so you’re not using energy on heating or cooling when not needed. Remember to adjust your thermostat with the change of season. Automating start and stop times can help reduce energy by up to 10%.

Reset temperature set points for zones– it’s best to make gradual changes to the temperature of 0.3°C until there’s a balance of comfort levels and energy efficiency. You can reduce your energy consumption by 20%.

Use economy cycle – use outdoor air for your cooling and you could save up to 20% on air conditioning compressor energy consumption. 

Conduct night purging – remove internal heat by bringing in cool night air without having to run air conditioning too cool. Best suited to non-humid climates where temperatures drop overnight and dew point is 12 degrees or lower. You may save up to 20% on energy compressor start up. 

Establish an energy management plan – developed in collaboration with various stakeholders, an energy management plan requires ongoing monitoring of your energy usage.  Create a list of the most important energy-efficient initiatives, hold workshops, create documentation and keep records. As a holistic approach you could potentially save up to 50% on total energy usage. 

Schedule repair and maintenance – regular maintenance of your system allows you to not only reduce your energy consumption and bills but also make your system last longer. Check all components are operating correctly – look for any damages, blocks or leaks. You could save up to 20% on energy. 

Audit energy efficiency – Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) is an Australian Government initiative funded by the Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources and delivered by Business Australia. BEAP helps businesses apply sustainable energy practices and identify opportunities to save on energy bills. The free consultative service provides independent and trustworthy advice. You’ll receive a detailed report on your energy usage with tailored recommendations for your business. You’ll have access to a wealth of information such as case studies and fact sheets. 

Discover other ways you could maximise energy savings on your HVAC. 

Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) 

To discover ways to save on energy costs, Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) delivered by Business Australia can help. 

There are many benefits of the program:  understand your energy bills, learn tips to change old habits and there’s a wide range of resources to tap into. And by applying sustainable practices, it will spark savings and reduce your carbon footprint. 

To find out if your business qualifies for BEAP, call 1300 415 224 or fill in the online form.

This article was originally published on Business Australia.

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