Commercial HVAC systems, especially cooling systems, can use quite a bit of energy. When looking for ways to lower operational costs at a facility, there are ways to maximize the energy used by the cooling system to reduce utility expenses.

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Commercial HVAC systems, especially cooling systems, can use quite a bit of energy. When looking for ways to lower operational costs at a facility, there are ways to maximize the energy used by the cooling system to reduce utility expenses. Economizers are a smart tool which can be used in conjunction with a facility’s cooling system to provide energy savings as well as comfortable indoor temperatures.

An economizer can reduce the amount of mechanical cooling required by taking advantage of outdoor weather conditions. When outdoor temperatures and conditions are favorable, the economizer works to pull cool air into the building from outdoors. This cooling reduces the need to use the building’s mechanical cooling system while still providing steady indoor temperatures.

Using an economizer is ideal for the mild climate we experience in Vancouver. The mild outdoor temperatures we have during the day can be pulled into a building by an economizer to provide adequate indoor cooling. In hotter climates, economizers are not as effective because the outdoor air is not cool enough to use indoors- therefore, commercial HVAC systems must be relied upon for cooling.

Economizers can help a facility save money with a commercial HVAC system in more ways than one. First, the economizer saves the energy which would be consumed by cooling equipment to produce the needed air conditioning. Outside air is used to cool the facility rather than refrigeration. Also, with an economizer to help provide a facility’s cooling needs, the commercial HVAC system is used less. Less use means less wear and tear on the mechanical equipment, allowing for longer service life and less repair need.

The actual cost savings of installing and using an economizer vary from facility to facility due to factors such as:

  • Location
  • Climate
  • Use of the facility
  • Occupancy
  • Building materials used
  • The building’s HVAC system and components

An economizer system must be designed properly to fit all these parameters in order to maximize energy savings for a facility, and installed properly. An economizer also requires regular maintenance, just like other commercial HVAC systems- neglecting maintenance can hinder equipment performance, reducing the amount of actual energy savings achieved.

An economizer which has been properly designed, installed, and maintained can reduce a facility’s mechanical cooling costs by up to 75 percent, depending on the factors mentioned above. An economizer that is malfunctioning or improperly cared for can do quite the opposite and waste more energy than would be saved. Proper function and maintenance is just as essential to the energy savings process as choosing to install energy-saving equipment in the first place. Checking the facility’s economizer function and maintaining the equipment should be added to the facility’s regular maintenance routine. For more information, please contact our BC Comfort Services team.