Energy efficiency is a factor that looms large over most things we do today. With entire nations and taxonomies revolving around it, energy savings is good money and good for the planet as well. Research shows that HVAC systems consume about 40% of the energy of a building. So it makes sense in keeping the HVAC system devices as energy efficient as possible.
However, we all know that HVAC systems are large and capital intensive. Over time, as components experience wear and tear, it not only hampers performance but also weighs heavy on your coffers. So enter heavy replacement costs, right? Wrong! Let us introduce you to this delightful concept called retrofitting.
What is HVAC retrofitting?
HVAC Retrofitting is a great alternative to entire system replacement, where piece meal changes or customised optimisation of components. The system is analysed, energy sinks identified and then parts a replaced, or tweaked with certain component additions so that the entire system is energy sustainable.
Retrofitting beyond energy efficiency:
Research shows that retrofitting, especially in commercial and industrial establishments can materialise into over 30% savings in energy. But is it just all about energy savings? It is so much more
- Comfort: Ageing HVAC systems can be painfully dull and uncomfortable. When you retrofit your HVAC system, you are giving it a revitalising elixir that puts it back on track. This automatically translates into comfortable temperatures, air quality and cleanliness.
- Add years to your HVAC system: Replacing, adding or boosting just a few components can add or extend the life of your HVAC system by years.
- Reduced noise: Ageing HVAC systems can be extremely noisy and complaining. By retrofitting you can address this as drafts of moving air are minimised.
- Better savings: Consider installing a variable frequency drive in your HVAC. It would result in a whopping 30% savings. In countries like India where we use air conditioning for an extended period of time, smart upgrades to existing HVAC systems will result in energy savings and system upgrades.
- Enhanced up time: Another major issue with older HVAC systems is possible breakdowns or downtime in general. With retrofitting, and a proper upgrade plan, facility infrastructure demand is optimized and there is a consolidated up time of the fresh air ventilation system.
How to retrofit my existing HVAC system?
While a full-fledged retrofit happens a consultant analyses your existing systems, identifies the good, bad and deplorable components and then suggests the ideal retro-upgrade plan. But here is a rough idea of how major components in a HVAC system could possibly be retrofitted.
Thermostat temperatures are set to optimal, and if a window air conditioner is used, as in the case of office spaces and older establishments, fans are used to distribute temperature.
Older lights, especially incandescent lighting and tube lights are replaced by energy efficient LED/LCD lighting that offers better light and save energy. Sensors are employed for both external and internal lighting which automatically turn on or off when there is no occupation or there is enough sunlight.
Large appliances like refrigerators, home mechanical fresh air ventilation system and air conditioners are large energy sinks. Retrofit upgrade in this case would mean defrosting refrigerators or replacing existing ACs with higher star rating appliances.
Essentially, a HVAC retrofit upgrade follows a RUR formula – retain upgrade replace. Each component is analysed, tested and considered for retention, up-gradation or replacement. It is making the best use of available components in the system, kind of a makeover for your HVAC. Consider a central vacuum system for home, maybe everything is fine but it needs a few nodal replacements. It would save you a lot of time, energy and money if you consider replacing just those instead of the entire CVAC.
The HVAC system, owing to its constant usage undergoes a lot of pressure.
While continuous servicing is one part of its upkeep, a retrofit upgrade will improve system longevity. It is also a great way to align your HVAC with the latest tech upgrades and reconfigure demands without burning a hole in your pocket. Consider consulting with a reputed consultant like Cleair gives your HVAC the upgrade it deserves!