Adding Advanced Controls to HVAC Can Save Energy

A US Dept. of Energy laboratory recently published an article on the study of options for improving the efficiency of packaged commercial rooftop systems.  The estimated results from the study were obtained and the potential savings based on computer modeling and simulation of building energy usage were outstanding.

While results may vary by location and climate, the potential for energy savings by just adding advanced controls to existing air units with gas furnaces is huge. Up to 67 percent in some areas was estimated. Manufactures are scrambling to make these controls available to the public.  The demand is so great because of the potential in savings.  Energy saving that not only effects your wallet but also helps the environment.

For the study, the scientist focused on four different types of control methods for existing rooftop packaged HVAC systems: air-side economizers, supply fan speed controls, cooling capacity controls, and demand-controlled ventilation.  The software tested was called EnergyPlus simulation which created simulations for 15 different climate zones in 16 major US cities. Along with this, four different types of buildings were studied.

In all over 1400 different simulations were performed to get the readings for the study and then broken down into potential savings in electricity used to power fans and cooling compressors, as well as the gas used to produce heat. Energy savings were then translated into dollars and cents.

Of all the tests performed the lowest amount of savings was 28 percent which occurred in the Seattle area. After the year we have had here in the Midwest with it’s up and down temps, a way to save any energy is greatly appreciated.  We live in the part of the country that sees the most diverse in temperatures. By having your local Earth City Cooling team install one of these systems, you could save thousands a year.  The experts say the benefits long outweigh the costs and you will see a return on your investment rather quickly.