Winter energy saving tips for commercial HVAC systems

3rd October 2022

HVAC systems account for a large proportion of a commercial building’s total energy use – around 40% according to some estimates.

With current energy costs through the roof, it is more important than ever that facilities managers (FMs) prioritise the health of their HVAC systems in preparation for higher usage during colder months.

A robust programme of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) will help FMs to manage HVAC running costs this winter, whilst also improving lifecycle outcomes and mitigating against the risk of downtime, expensive/disruptive repairs and poor performance.

Here are 4 key steps that FMs can take today to control the cost of HVAC systems this winter:

  1. Target closed circuit systems

Closed loop systems are used for a wide range of commercial HVAC systems, including low temperature hot water (LTHW) heating systems, heat pumps, chilled water systems, condenser water circuits and district heating schemes. These types of system are commonly found in office blocks, data centres, schools, hospitals and industrial sites.

Closed loop, or closed circuit, systems are central to the overall energy efficiency of HVAC plant, however, they are also vulnerable to corrosion. A poorly maintained system can lead to fouling, with a build-up of sludge and scale reducing efficiency. Unchecked leaks and faulty valves can cause oxygen to permeate the closed loop, leading to corrosion of pipework and components and/or bacterial growth.

Poor performance at this core stage has a knock-on effect, causing inefficiencies and high costs much further down the line.

  1. Book a one-off HVAC health check

Scheduling a regular HVAC health check will ensure that your building’s HVAC system is operating at maximum efficiency and is not running up unnecessary costs due to poor performance.

At Guardian Water Treatment, we believe in data-led approach to HVAC health checks beyond the use of sampling and corrosion coupons.

We can install the latest remote monitoring technology on-site for a fixed period – anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. Throughout the course of the health check, key parameters are checked every 15 minutes and sent directly to FMs, building a true picture of water system conditions and informing site specific treatment plans.

Don’t let your HVAC system be an unknown. Book at health check today.

  1. Check and change HVAC filters

HVAC filters can easily get clogged up with dust and debris.  If airflow is limited, motors must work extra hard to extract the air needed to function effectively. Regular filter checks will ensure that energy is conserved and costs reduced.

Apart from safeguarding the health of building occupants, an air quality assessment is a great way of improving the overall performance of HVAC systems and ensuring that costs are kept to a minimum.

  1. Review your ongoing maintenance strategy

HVAC maintenance is something that often gets neglected with FMs relying on the same strategies for years on end. But simply continuing with operations as usual is not always the best plan, particularly where changes have taken place within the building or the system. By conducting a thorough review, FMs can incorporate additional needs and set goals to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.

One effective strategy is to implement a total closed water system solution including continuous monitoring throughout the life of the water system (as opposed to a one-off health check).

Permanent installation of Hevasure’s real-time monitoring system ensures the overall performance of the system will be maintained constantly, ensuring the optimum use of energy and maximising the lifetime of valuable assets. Scale build-up and corrosion will be prevented and maintenance costs and downtime to repair the system due to unplanned engineering will be reduced.

Find out more about how Hevasure can reduce HVAC costs for commercial buildings or get in touch with our experts to discuss your requirements.