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While HVAC systems are great for regulating the air temperature, quality and ventilation within a building, they aren’t always the most energy efficient systems. In fact, on average, HVAC systems account for 40% of a building’s energy consumption, placing it at the top of the list ahead of lighting, equipment, and lifts. While advances in technology have made HVAC systems more energy efficient over time, the key way to improve the output of a system is through having it regularly checked and maintained by a HVAC professional

The importance of HVAC maintenance cannot be understated, as it makes sure that the system is continuously operating at or near peak efficiency. That’s why we’re sharing 10 ways regular HVAC maintenance can improve your energy efficiency. 

Maintaining HVAC Systems

Cleaning Water Cooled Condensers 

Regular cleaning of the water cooled condensers in chillers is an important step to take in maintaining the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. It is believed that a build-up of 0.6mm of fouling on the condenser water tubes can reduce the efficiency of chillers by 20%. 

Replacing the Valves on Compressors 

If the HVAC system in your building uses an older reciprocating compressor for its chiller, then you may want to replace the thermostatic compressor valves with electronically controlled expansion valves. Doing so will increase energy efficiency by 15-20%. 

Regularly Checking for Refrigerant Leaks 

The refrigerant charge in chiller systems should be regularly checked for any leaks. If a leak is found, then it should be fixed immediately, as leakage is not only costly financially and environmentally, but also negatively affects the efficiency of the plant. 

Optimise Your Chiller

Chillers should be replaced approximately once every 15 years. When choosing a new chiller for your HVAC system, you should take this opportunity to select a plant that is better optimised for energy efficiency and your building’s needs. This means that instead of simply replacing your existing chiller with a replica, you should seek advice from a maintenance professional about choosing a system that will meet your building’s cooling load, while also being compatible with modern control strategies. These choices will have long-term benefits in making your entire system more energy efficient. 

Belts and Pulleys 

The fans in HVAC systems should have their belts and pulleys regularly tensioned. Any misalignment or incorrect tensioning can cause unnecessary friction, resulting in an overall waste of energy. 

Unblocking Pumps 

Any blockage in a HVAC system’s pumps will cause strain to the system resulting in unnecessary energy usage. Maintenance checks can mitigate this blockage, as well as the installation of pressure gauges and strainer flush valves to notify and handle any obstructions. 

Periodically Inspecting Boilers 

Boilers can be one of the most important components of a HVAC system, but they often operate at less than 100% efficiency. This is why having a trained HVAC technician periodically inspect the boiler can be a smart way to save energy in the short and long term. A boiler inspection should include cleaning heat exchangers and analysing and optimising its combustion efficiency. 

Cleaning Heat Exchange Coils 

Dirty heat exchange coils can have multiple adverse effects on the efficiency of a HVAC system. They increase resistance to heat transfer, which in turn reduces the efficiency of the boiler and chiller. They also increase resistance of airflow which will increase the fan’s energy consumption. All of this can be avoided if you have your heat exchange coils periodically cleaned. 

Cleaning Air Filters

On top of the negative health implications that dirty air filters can have, they also impact the efficiency of air flow resulting in a costly amount of unnecessary energy consumption. Therefore, having them regularly cleaned will save you money in the long term, while also ensuring that the air you work in is clean and safe. 

Check for Leaking Valves 

Finally, it’s important that you have a HVAC technician assess the heating and cooling valves for any leaks. This is a common problem in HVAC systems that can confuse the heating and cooling systems while costing a lot of energy. 

HVAC Maintenance Schedules

Air-rite HVAC Maintenance Services

Maintaining your HVAC system is the number one way to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible. The HVAC and commercial air conditioning experts at Air-rite are equipped to undertake maintenance checks on systems all around South East Queensland. For more information, get in touch today at 07 3274 2199.