Good indoor air quality in a commercial building or school is a must for keeping employees and students comfortable and healthy. When the air inside a building is unhealthy, people can suffer from health problems, such as throat irritations, headaches and fatigue. That’s why it’s a good idea to add an economizer to a building’s HVAC system. Here are four basic benefits of an HVAC economizer, along with some considerations and warnings.
What Is an HVAC Economizer?
Maybe you’ve heard about economizers but aren’t quite sure what they are. An economizer is a mechanical device or heat exchanger that’s designed to reduce energy consumption. As part of an outdoor HVAC system, an economizer usually mounts on the roof of commercial buildings and schools.
How an Economizer Works and Keeps a Building Comfortable
Put simply, economizers work by drawing in outdoor air. When outdoor air levels are favorable, an economizer uses the outside air for cooling a building. In other words, an economizer is able to detect the correct level of air to usher inside a building.
The internal dampers on an economizer open after the outdoor air temperature drops below the air temperature that’s inside the building. These dampers do more than just control how much air is pulled into a building. They also recirculate and exhaust air out of the building. Besides dampers, an HVAC economizer is made up of other components, including sensors, controls, linkages and actuations. These parts all work together in recirculating and exhausting air from a building.
1. Improves the Quality of Indoor Air
There are several advantages for adding an economizer. Probably the biggest benefit of having an economizer is that it improves the quality of indoor air by increasing ventilation. Consider how older schools and other buildings, in addition to some newer ones, fail to prioritize ventilation in their construction. By drawing in fresh air and expelling stale air out of a building, an economizer can make a huge difference in air quality.
2. Less Strain on Your HVAC System
Another significant perk of an economizer is that it reduces the workload on your HVAC system. As a result, this device can extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit. Furthermore, as a result of less wear and tear on your HVAC unit, there’s less upkeep. Because of less maintenance and breakdowns, your HVAC system can last longer.
3. Easy to Install
Sometimes, HVAC equipment already contains an economizer built into it. But if your HVAC unit doesn’t have an economizer, an HVAC specialist can easily add one. Fortunately, it’s simple to install an economizer, and it doesn’t involve much space since these devices aren’t that large as they’re moderately sized. Also, adding an economizer doesn’t entail a lot of mechanical or structural work.
4. Cost Effective: Savings on Energy Bills
Is your building’s energy bill is out of control, especially during hot summer months? If so, you can reduce what you spend on energy costs by installing an economizer. Consider how an economizer can provide free cooling for your building by pulling in outdoor air. By drawing cool outside air into your building, there’s less mechanical refrigeration. In fact, using an economizer can save you as much as 24 to 35 percent on your energy bill.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- HVAC Economizers can be used on almost all types of facilities as well as buildings of any size.
- The most critical factor to consider is your climate and location. Buildings in extremely hot, humid areas may not be suitable for adding an economizer. This is because the outdoor air is rarely dry or cool enough for bringing in outdoor air.
- Even buildings located in colder climates can benefit from adding an economizer.
- Basic upkeep includes changing filters and checking moving parts to ensure there’s no shortage.
If your school or commercial building doesn’t have an economizer, you may be paying a significant amount of money for energy costs. Regardless of your energy needs, our energy professionals can help. Contact us to find out more about our wide range of services.