Refrigerant leaks result in inefficiencies and higher operating costs at your facility. They also result in occupant discomfort, and the inability of your HVAC system to meet the cooling and heating requirements of your building.
Losses due to leaks can be significant and often go unnoticed, especially in a multi-building distribution system where piping may be underground or otherwise not easily accessed.
Older or outdated controls can also lead to inefficiency and could potentially be the cause of failure, leading to issues with heating, cooling, and ventilation levels. For example, non-operating controls on outside air dampers can lead to indoor air quality issues if the dampers are in a permanently closed position. If they are left inoperable and dampers are set in a fully open position, they may tax the capacity of the system during hot summer days or cold winter nights. The solution is to have an operable control system that will allow not only for proper control of systems, but also for optimization, monitoring, and adjustment to help you and your facility stay on track.
You know that proper ventilation is a code requirement, and proper ventilation effectiveness, air filtration, and air change rates will result in good indoor air quality. If the lack of proper ventilation is leading to stuffiness, poor air quality, and occupant discomfort, the solution is to increase ventilation to meet code and space function. In addition, implementing proper controls, filtration, and demand control ventilation will save energy while maintaining good indoor environmental quality.
Deteriorated ductwork and piping insulation is another factor to consider, and can provide a low-cost upgrade with short-term impact. Improper or lack of insulation, along with leaks, can lead to energy loss as well as potential condensation and corrosion of a piping system.
A facility can be prone to leaks caused by type of construction, cracks, and exposure to the element. Fixing those problems can work together with HVAC upgrades to make operations more efficient. Applying seals to window glazing and sealing large cracks can reduce energy losses caused by infiltration and exfiltration. Whether in hot or cold climates, this infiltration or exfiltration on a less-than-tight construction type building will result in energy losses and discomfort.
Given that the HVAC systems vary from one building to another, any upgrades should be studied and analyzed thoroughly, including life-cycle cost analysis, while considering initial and operational costs and payback. Bringing in a qualified professional to give you a new perspective and provide you with a full analysis of your refrigerant/HVAC system will allow the facility’s owner or manager to make an informed, and timely, decision.