Top 5 HVAC Maintenance Best Practices for Energy Savings
How closely are your facilities following HVACR best practices? Did you know HVAC is the largest energy end use in the non-residential sector and accounts for more than 40 percent of total energy use?
Meanwhile, the U.S. EPA estimates that the national refrigerant leak rate is 25 percent, which means that facility managers are spending 25 percent more on electricity just to keeps HVACR units running.
This accelerates maintenance spend unnecessarily.
Now, by properly maintaining your HVACR equipment, your potential for energy savings is substantial.
In fact, here are the top 5 HVAC maintenance practices that your building portfolio should adhere to:
5 HVAC Maintenance Best Practices for Energy Savings
1.) Track your assets. Have an inventory of all your HVACR equipment; know the age, condition, use, and refrigerant type of each unit. You can’t properly guide and lead your workforce without clearly identifying your cylinders, systems, and people.
2.) Track your activity. Know who is working on what and what is going where. For example, know how much refrigerant is being used and/or added to your equipment. To comply with national and state refrigerant management regulations, record every transaction, including the primary technician(s) who work(s) on a unit.
3.) Project refrigerant leak rates accurately. Answer this: What are the leak rates of your HVAC systems? 25%…? 35%…? 45%…? (Yes, most likely, at least some of your units are leaking!) Answering this question is crucial because the more a system leaks, the more money that drips out of your wallet. Not to mention, by reducing your refrigerant leaks, you can extend the longevity of your units.
4.) Conduct periodic review of systems. The frequency of these reviews depends upon the size of the systems; the following is recommended:
- Large systems (which contain 2,000 lbs of refrigerant or more) — Conduct monthly reviews.
- Medium systems (which contain 200 lbs but less than 2,000 lbs of refrigerant) — Conduct quarterly reviews.
- Smaller systems (which contain more than 50 lbs but less than 200 lbs of refrigerant) — Conduct annual reviews.
5.) Build a budget based on the equipment’s replacement value. The frequency of these reviews depends upon the size of the systems; the following is recommended:
• For equipment 15 years and older, replace if cost to repair will exceed 10% of replacement cost.
• For equipment 10 years and older, you should try and reduce maintenance. (Your max budget should be 10% of replacement value).
• For new equipment and up to 10 years old, continue to maintenance the units as required.
Your HVAC maintenance plan should incorporate these 5 best practices to guide your future and ensure that you will be ready, not go over budget, and have a high level of predictability to meet your obligations (from an operational and compliance perspective).
In fact, if you adhere to these 5 best practices, you should be well-prepared to reduce the impact of refrigerant leaks, particularly from an energy standpoint. Well, that concludes the top 5 HVAC maintenance best practices to follow for energy savings.
You’re invited to our HVACR Compliance Open Mic next Tues., Nov. 10 on how to calculate your refrigerant leak rates like a pro.Register for the Compliance Open Mic
As always, thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in next week for the latest HVACR compliance insight.
With an extensive background in HVAC/R public affairs and communications, Elizabeth Ortlieb serves as the Content Strategist & Policy Analyst for Trakref, where she tracks policy trends and provides updates to multi-level stakeholders. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org