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  • Troy Huisman

Getting the Most Out of Your HVAC System

So let’s talk shop.

Face it – there is no real fun way to discuss matters involving your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) unit without at least a mild grunt of annoyance.

If you own your own business, chances are, any additional expense tacked onto your HVAC energy consumption bill is too much.

Fortunately, there are some great ways to avoid accumulating additional costs down the road – it just requires a little attention, and of course, a little extra green.

The biggest thing to consider when revamping (or even replacing) your HVAC system is that nothing is one-size fits all.

For example, no matter how seemingly minute the difference from one type of Class 1 Division 2 nonincendive field wiring is from another – there is a difference. Haphazardly conjoining two incompatible HVAC components or systems together could result in significant energy inefficiency.

On the other hand, high utilizing high-performance HVAC equipment that has been correctly appraised and customized to your whole building specifications can result in significant energy loss savings. Within a payback period of three to five years, you can expect up to 30% in annual energy reduction in a building that supplies a conventional temperature comfort zone of approximately 70°F in winter and 76°F in summer.

Remember that the key idea here is that when replacing any part of your HVAC system all parts of your system must be re-evaluated in order to compensate for structural compatibility and functionality.

Although replacing only one part at a time may seem like a more financially sound plan, in the long run, the mismatching components in your system could result in inefficient energy loss and unnecessary power consumption.

Another point to consider when re-evaluating your HVAC system is the single point connection power panel.

Now this term is frequently misconstrued within the electrical field and requires clarification with your contractor to prevent misunderstandings in the future. What is most often referred to by single point connection power panel is the buildings main power connection to the physical Air Handling Unit.

This should be where the HIGH VOLTAGE current runs straight into the electrical box, which has been designed to handle high levels of power.

From there, the manufacturer ideally owns all downstream components to ensure optimal compatibility – this includes the VFD’s, Gas heat, Humidifiers, etc.

What this DOES NOT sometimes include are the controls and control wiring.

Why is that? Because an additional power line separate from the main power ensures that even in an event where the main power is disconnected, there is still a direct line to provide lighting and controls to your building.

As such, when re-evaluating your HVAC system, consider that your controls and control wiring will (most often) be separate components from the single point power connection and will require additional attention once the main power system has been replaced.

In summary, it makes more financial sense in the long run to consider your HVAC system as a whole, rather than the sum of its parts.

Mismatching new and old components can result in considerable energy loss and wind up costing you more over the long haul.

This folks, is one of those situations in which spending more really will help you save more in the future.

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