Most of households and offices spend their 30-40% of their bills to provide proper heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC). An excellent HVAC system is the main factor that ensures comfortable, healthy and conducive environment. Even so, people have been looking for ways to reduce the cost of energy and HVAC. The idea is to look for ways to minimize the energy cost without reducing the interior aspects. What people do not know is when HVAC system performance is improved, their bills on the energy would be reduced significantly. This is a common qualification of mechanical engineering specialized in energy and HVAC.
One way to perform HVAC system optimization and optimizing the energy usage is load reduction. This phase will need you and the specialist to make long term plan which itemizes the actions that would be taken based on best return on investment. By reducing the load of your building will make the existing HVAC system to be more efficient. If you consider to make replacements of your system, you should ensure that the new one would be more cost effective and designed for the reduced load as opposed to the current load. You could use these following load reduction strategies:
Tighten the building shell and add additional insulation
The process of additional insulation in existing buildings may not be possible for some instances, so you should pay more attention to the exterior shell, especially windows and doors.
Installing energy-efficient windows
This is quite big and is meant for buildings that still have single pane windows. The double pane windows with a thermal break installations is an awesome return on investment. It would be better if you have ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings will do much better.
Upgrading lighting systems
Commercial building has the average of lighting density of 2-3 watts per square foot in normal lighting condition. This is one of the important elements of HVAC load and if you do something to improve this condition, it will also lower the cooling needed for the building. Accent lighting (or something we know as architectural lighting) are only energy efficient in some types, and syou should thik twice before installing if you want to reduce energy and HVAC costs. Energy-efficient lighting systems produce less heat into conditioned space than older incandescent technology. If your building uses return air plenums instead of return air ductworks, consider installing light troffers so you can make use of the heat from the lights by returning them to the HVAC system instead of going into the occupied area.
You can also control ventilation by having your outside air balanced. Most buildings have blueprints of the original HVAC system installation. You can review the blueprints to a mechanical engineer to make sure your outside air flow rates conform to the latest code requirements. If there is no blueprints, your mechanical engineer would still be able to give you recommendations for improvement. These are your first steps to reducing energy and HVAC costs.