Energy auditing is one of the core services we provide at HVAC Engineering. How can you decide if this is the right service for your home or business? First, let’s discuss what energy auditing entails.
The core principle of energy auditing is itemizing the appliances and attributes involved in a system that are not as efficient as they could be. Components of an HVAC system can be rendered sub-optimal by air leaks, improper installation, or simply the release of newer models that could save even more energy. Whether a component is leaking warm air outside the building envelope or drawing more electricity than it needs to, the components flagged by an energy audit are wasting valuable energy and increasing costs for the building administrator.
Because conserving energy is beneficial both for saving money and for making a building more friendly to the environment and to the grid, several types of organizations offer them. While public utilities or government agencies often also offer this service, choosing a private contractor like HVAC engineering can allow you to tailor your audit to your specific concerns while still having access to many of the subsidy programs that public-sector audits recommend. Certain public-sector energy audits may also have a special focus relating to the organization offering them, so choosing a private company to perform your service can ensure that you receive recommendations that are not biased by these factors.
In an HVAC-specific energy audit, the technician might focus on procedures such as duct leakage testing and stairwell pressurization verification- anything that could be causing your system to lose thermally-conditioned air to the outside. They may also inspect system machinery like filters, fans and pumps to ensure that these components are not damaged, in need of cleaning, or too worn. They may consult any publically- or privately-available subsidy programs or incentives relating to the changes from which your home or business could benefit, including machinery upgrades or building envelope reinforcement. The final deliverable will be a list of proposed changes, such as cleanings and part repairs, ranked in order of the energy savings to be had.
In an ideal world, a building owner could proceed with all the recommended changes and create an almost perfectly-efficient building. Realistically, however, wise property and business owners must asses the proposed changes and the available funds with a cost-benefit mindset. When funds are not infinite, the most prudent changes are those that make the most efficient use of money. A professional energy audit does much of this work for you, ranking potential modifications from most to least impactful. For example, re-sealing a leaky window and replacing an intake fan with the current model may have comparable costs, but the building owner stands to gain much more in energy savings by prioritizing the leaky window. Even in cases less clear-cut than the example given, an energy audit can help make these decisions effortless by evaluating very diverse components in common terms of cost and energy savings. So, is an energy audit by HVAC Engineering right for you?