Why an HVAC Assessment is Step One for Improving Building Efficiency
Imagine you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms. Fever, sore throat, the whole nine yards. It’s severe enough for you to visit the doctor looking for help. Without asking you any questions, examining you, or performing any tests at all, the doctor confidently announces that you have strep throat, and hands you a prescription.
How sure would you be that your doctor is right?
The value of an HVAC operational assessment for commercial buildings is clear. While every owner and facility manager wants to lower operating costs through energy efficiency and extending existing equipment, it’s impossible for an expert to determine the best way to achieve those goals without first conducting an in-depth assessment of that building’s unique usage patterns, age and condition, and other factors that will impact their recommendation.
What is an operational assessment?
If no one’s ever performed a HVAC operational assessment on your commercial facility, you’re probably wondering what it is.
In short, an operational assessment provides an organized overview of your facility’s entire HVAC system. It’s administered by trained professional HVAC technicians focused on the current condition of the system’s mechanical and electrical components, current and historical usage, operating costs, and maintenance records. All of these records help them identify trends and identify outliers in the data.
Beyond reviewing the numbers, the assessment also includes:
- Testing and analysis of the HVAC system’s mechanical integrity
- Exploring areas where repair, replacement or upgrade of components that are still functioning well could improve efficiency or performance, or save money and time over potential emergency repairs down the road.
- Evaluation of any intelligent automation and analytics systems installed in the facility including all control systems - for opportunities to optimize energy efficiency and usage trends.
- Researching and comparing options for energy rebates, enhanced comfort, improved redundancy, and reliability.
Why should the operational assessment be Step One?
The operational assessment offers building owners and facility managers the best means of determining future maintenance needs and the probable timing of future repairs. This makes it far easier for them to plan month-to-month and long term operating budgets and capital expenditures.
The assessment also provides a foundational understanding of each unique commercial HVAC system’s current and historical usage and cost patterns, helping identify both current and potential capacity. This can help yield opportunities for efficiencies and improvements that can save money and extend the system’s life.
The resulting report will include a list of recommended replacements, maintenance activities, and upgrades, providing a valuable, prioritized “to do list” building owners and facility managers can use to improve their building’s energy efficiency and system performance one step at a time.
At the top of the list will be the “low-hanging fruit:” the highest yield, lowest cost actions that can be taken immediately to provide dramatic return quickly. Recommendations further down the list may require a longer time or greater capital investment, but will also provide excellent returns upon completion.
Finally, the assessment leverages your commercial HVAC company’s expertise to identify potential replacements and maintenance services that really won’t provide adequate ROI, helping you avoid unnecessary or unwise investments.
If you’re ready to improve your commercial HVAC system and building efficiency in Chicago and save money this quarter, contact our team of experienced HVAC professionals today to learn more and to arrange an operational assessment for your commercial facility.