How Installing An HVAC Economizer Reduces Energy Costs And Saves Money
Why expend energy cooling your building with your HVAC system when the outside air is perfectly comfortable? That's the function of an HVAC economizer — they monitor the conditions outside and switch your HVAC system to circulating air from the outside rather than its usual operating mode of cooling and recirculating inside air.
Many commercial buildings lack an economizer, and installing one is a simple and inexpensive way to save money on your energy costs. If your building doesn't have an economizer installed, read on to find out more about how they work and the benefits that one can bring to your business.
What Is an HVAC Economizer?
An economizer is a simple system that attaches to an HVAC unit, and it contains a thermostat and humidistat that constantly monitor the temperature and humidity of the outside air.
When the outside air is cool and dry enough to keep your building comfortable on its own, the economizer switches off your HVAC system's compressor and opens a vent that allows your building to be cooled using air from the outside rather than air cooled by your HVAC system. If the outside air becomes too hot or too humid, the vent closes and your HVAC system resumes normal operation.
When an economizer is well-maintained and operating correctly, it allows you to cool your building with free air from the outside rather than using energy to cool it. Monitoring the humidity level of the outside air ensures that the economizer won't accidentally cause the interior of your building to become too humid — this can be uncomfortable for people inside the building and potentially lead to damage from excess humidity.
What Are the Benefits of Installing an HVAC Economizer?
The main benefit of installing an economizer on your building's HVAC unit is that it can significantly decrease your building's energy usage. When outside air would suffice to keep everyone in your building comfortable, there's no need to use energy to power your building's HVAC system — you can simply circulate outside air around your building instead.
An HVAC economizer also reduces wear and tear on your building's HVAC system. When the economizer is using outside air to cool your building, the compressor motor in your HVAC system is turned off. By giving the motor a chance to rest, you can extend the lifespan of your building's HVAC system — constant use often causes compressor motors to fail more quickly.
Finally, bringing in outside air can also improve the air quality of your building. Volatile organic chemicals reduce air quality, and they tend to become trapped in a building that constantly recirculates its air — there's nowhere for the VOCs to go. When you bring in air from the outside, you're reducing the concentration of VOCs inside the building.
Overall, installing an economizer on your building's HVAC system is an effective way to reduce energy costs while improving indoor air quality. Older HVAC systems often don't have them installed. If your building doesn't have one, contact an HVAC installation company in your area. Their simple design allows them to be easily installed alongside your existing HVAC setup.