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Reducing HVAC First Costs and Operating Costs
February 11, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's tip concerns saving money on HVAC costs.
The time to start thinking about HVAC is at the very start of programming a new building. That’s because life-cycle HVAC costs for a new building are often locked in before the efficiency of chillers and boilers has even come up for discussion.
The siting of the building, for example, will affect solar gain. The choice of windows can influence both heat transfer and solar gain. Likewise, the level of insulation in the walls and roof plays a significant role in determining the operating cost of the HVAC system. And the type of lighting system used in the facility will have some effect on heating and cooling loads.
It's not just energy costs that can be saved. Smaller loads translate into smaller chillers, fans and boilers, reducing first costs as well as operating costs.
Specifying efficient HVAC equipment is important, of course, but by the time talk turns to manufacturers and model numbers, many of the most important decisions regarding HVAC efficiency have already been made. That's why it’s useful for facility managers to get involved as early as possible in programming.