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Green Tips for Building Mechanical Systems
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Green Tips for Building Mechanical Systems

  • Ensure adequate ventilation – Appropriately size and operate ventilation systems to supply ample outside air to the building occupants. 
  • Monitor carbon dioxide - Install monitors and integrate them with a ventilation system that regulates the supply of air based on occupant demand. With demand-controlled ventilation, airflow is automatically increased if carbon dioxide concentrations exceeds a set-point.
  • Install high efficiency air filters - Use filters with high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings in the ventilation equipment.
  • Install variable speed drives (VSD) – VSD’s allow the motor speed to vary depending on the actual operating conditions, rather than operating continuously at a full speed. Installing VSD’s on fan motors can greatly reduce energy consumption. 
  • Economizer cooling – Install economizers on building ventilation equipment. When the outside temperature and humidity are mild, economizers save energy by cooling buildings with outside air rather than using refrigeration equipment to cool re-circulated air.
  • Install high performance mechanical systems – Apply life-cycle analysis to the trade-offs between capital and operating costs, and evaluate investments in energy efficiency technologies accordingly.
  • Replace components utilizing R-22 refrigerant – R-22 is one of the ozone depleting refrigerants that is being phased out by the Montreal Protocol. Mandatory reductions in production will cause the price of R-22 to increase dramatically. 
  • Planned Maintenance – Performing planned maintenance on mechanical systems, such as quarterly filter changes and annual condenser coil cleaning, can result in equipment energy savings of 15-20%.
  • Optimize Building Schedules – Adjusting the start and stop times for the building mechanical systems during varying seasons can help reduce energy costs. In the spring and fall seasons, when cooling is required but the peak temperatures are typically lower than the summer peak temperatures, the system can be set to come on later in the morning and shut off earlier in the day.
  • Benchmarking – Utilize the Energy Star Portfolio Manager program to benchmark your buildings energy performance. www.energystar.gov