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Did you realise that nearly half the energy used within your premises is consumed by your HVAC system?
GO GREEN WITH HVAC, HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MAINTENANCE
Imagine how hard your system is working to keep you comfortable if the coils and air ducts are covered or clogged with dust.
Properly maintaining your heating and air conditioning system with routine maintenance can increase efficiency while decreasing your energy bills. There are many ways to "go green" within your premises, but one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways is with a service. After you've taken the appropriate steps by having a service, once in the spring and once in the autumn, you can take additional steps to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly premises with a few energy saving solutions.
Follow these suggestions from Aire Serv to create more "green," energy efficient premises:
- Install a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature when present or away. Why keep your premises cool/warm when nobody is there?
- Use high efficiency air filters to help your air conditioning system stay clean longer.
- Plant trees or shrubs to shade the air conditioning unit, but not so close that they block air flow.
- Have your professional air conditioning provider clean your units coils regularly - about every six months – to prevent dirt and dust build-up.
- Check the loft, crawl space or cellar to make sure it's properly insulated.
- If installing a new unit, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) number on air conditioners. Some units manufactured about 10 years ago were in the 10 SEER range while many units today are in the 20 SEER range. Going from a 10 to 20 SEER will cut your cooling costs in half.
In an effort to encourage sustainable products, another change you need to be aware of is the phase out of R-22, the refrigerant most commonly used in today's heating and cooling units. Beginning January 2010, all new units will be required to use "environmentally sound" refrigerant, such as R-410A. The phase out has been mandated by the government in an effort to help protect the Earth's ozone layer.
By switching to the more economically and environmentally friendly R-410A, you can also protect yourself from the potentially higher costs of servicing an air conditioner or heating unit that uses R-22.
The objectives of the TM44 inspections are:
- To provide system performance information to building owners and operators.
- To save energy and money by identifying areas in your system where CO2 emissions can be reduced.
A full report is presented from the TM44 inspection, which will highlight energy and money saving measures with a reasonable payback period. The report is valid for 5 years after which time another TM44 inspection will be required.
TM 44 Inspection – What systems need it?
Under the regulations, an air conditioning system has a specific definition.
"A combination of all the components required to provide a form of air treatment in which the temperature is controlled or can be lowered, and includes systems which combine such air treatment with the control of ventilation, humidity, and air cleanliness".
A further definition under the regulations refers to the cooling capacity of air conditioning systems as:
"The sum of all individual cooling units under the control of one building owner or operator". It may therefore include smaller 'window-box' and split units which are considered to be part of the 'system'."
Process cooling systems are not included in the regulations.
There are two phases in the introduction of the inspections. Phase 1 applies to those systems with a cooling capacity rated above 250 kW and phase 2 applies to systems over 12kW.
When do the Regulations apply?
Over 250 kW cooling capacity inspections to be completed by 4 January 2009.
First inspection of all existing systems over 12 kW to be completed by 4 January 2011.
Systems installed after January 2008 over 12Kw are to be inspected within five years of commissioning.
Remember, finding energy solutions at your premises doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your comfort. You can save money while being "green" and stay comfortable. For more information on the refrigerant change or on how you can save money on your next energy bill, contact your local Aire Serv.