Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in large buildings or healthcare facilities can account for up to half the energy usage in these buildings! Complete cleaning of these systems, including the ductwork, vents, blowers, coils and other components, is an important aspect of keeping them running at peak efficiency.
According to NADCA, heating and cooling systems tend to be poorly maintained. At PREVENT Life Safety this has been our experience as well. Our technicians spend a lot of time above facility ceilings and are often surprised at the amount of dirt and debris, as well as clogged grills, etc. It shouldn’t be surprising that these systems, which are experiencing heavy daily usage, become dirty and highly-contaminated with dust and sometimes infectious particulates (particularly in hospitals, MOBS and SNFs).
The National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) recently published the results of a research project with the Larson Building Systems Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The main purpose of the study was, “to correlate the substantial energy savings that can be obtained through complete cleaning of fouled heating and cooling systems.” As one of the world’s most technologically advanced facilities for researching heating and cooling systems, the participation of the lab was pivotal.
Key findings of the NADCA study indicated that even lightly-fouled systems can produce substantial energy savings. The findings are based on a complete cleaning of duct work, coils, grilles and other air-side system components, as well as, filter changes. Based on this initial research, a lightly-contaminated system provides, on average, an 11% savings on energy costs used for heating and air conditioning. In a larger building, those savings add up to 5.5% on your energy bill.
If you haven’t thoroughly cleaned your duct systems in several years, which is quite common as a result of the recent economic conditions, you may experience 2-3 times those savings or 11-22% energy bill reductions. Those savings will continue to add up and provide a better environment for your tenants, customers or patients with improved air quality.
Consider having your HVAC system cleaned or evaluated to reduce your facility’s energy bill.