Replacing old boilers and heaters with high efficient equipment and updating a building's HVAC system will result in significant savings on your energy bill and make your space much more comfortable.
In most cases, heating and ventilation make up the majority of a building's energy use.
What is it?
HVAC refers to the three disciplines of Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning. Heating can be accomplished by heating the air within a space, or by heating the occupants directly by radiation. Ventilating maintains an adequate mixture of gases in the air we breathe, controls odors, and removes contaminants from occupied spaces. Air-conditioning refers to the sensible and latent cooling of air.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems supply fresh air and condition the indoor air temperature and humidity of a building. HVAC systems are one of the largest portions of a buildings energy use and increasing their efficiency is a key component of reducing energy consumption in the building sector. High efficiency HVAC systems can be achieved through proper integration of heating, cooling and ventilation sub-systems for a specific building type to eliminate drafts and wasted energy.
According to the Whole Building Design Guide, HVAC system upgrades have the potential to save 10-40% of a buildings conventional costs, energy use, and GHG emissions. Furthermore, these reductions can be directly translated into significant savings in electricity and gas bills for the building owners and/or tenants. High efficiency HVAC systems also deliver cleaner and better quality air resulting in better indoor living and working environments, reduction of sick building syndrome, and better living comfort and productivity.
Maximizing energy efficiency with HVAC systems is a two-part process. The first step is to replace or update inefficienct equipment and control systems. The second equally important step is to practice ongoing monitoring of equipment performance and perform timely maintenance to ensure that the HVAC system continues to operate optimally.
Though they are grouped together under the same acronym, each component of HVAC has specific requirements and opportunities for saving energy. It is important to note that energy savings in one area have the potential to positively or negatively impact energy savings in another. Therefore understanding the whole building design and the interactions between all components is crucial to achieving optimal energy efficiency and is a key component of a high efficiency HVAC system.
How can we help?
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) offers the TAME+ program which provides tools and funding to help municipalities understand how energy is used in their buildings, identify key savings opportunities through audits, and implement retrofit projects. The results of the TAME+ energy audit will provide a number of energy conserving measures that can be taken to increase efficiency in a particular building. Upgrades and retrofits to the Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems including boilers and chillers, furnaces, heat pumps, ventilation systems, pipe insulation, space heaters, air conditioners, thermal storage systems, and heat recovery systems are eligible as energy conservation measures under TAME+ and can therefore be covered by the rebate.
The MCCAC also offers a free online Energy Benchmarking tool that uses annual energy data to generate a report comparing a building’s energy use intensity compared to the average and best-in-class buildings of a similar type. Completing a benchmark report for each building on a yearly basis is a quick and easy way to track the ongoing energy performance of each building relative to themselves and the best-in-class examples.