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Five “Free Energy” Ways to Reduce The Energy Appetite of Your Buildings

Understanding thermal energy and how Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can be used to harness heat energy in commercial and residential buildings is important.  In this article we focus on answering the one of the most common questions we hear – what’s the best ways to reduce the energy appetite of my buildings?  We also reveal some interesting facts!

If you would like to know more, feel free to get in touch.

What’s “free energy” and why should I care?

The types of HVAC systems and how they are used have a big impact on the amount of energy consumed and the levels of comfort provided for your building’s occupants. Even in a building that has full air conditioning and cooling, it may not be necessary for them to be switched on all of the time.

Using natural ‘free energy’ to heat, cool and ventilate a building can help save substantial sums of money and give building occupants greater control over their environment.

What are the top five ways to reduce the energy appetite of my buildings?

  1. Passive Heating, Ventilation and Cooling: This is the control of heat from the sun along with ventilation in order to benefit a building and avoid discomfort. To maximize energy savings, it pays to organize a system so that nature provides the majority of fresh air and temperature requirements. Some businesses use what is known as a ‘mixed mode’ system, which uses a combination of both natural and mechanical systems.
  2. Reduce Overheating: Before installing cooling equipment, always identify where the excess heat is coming from – sunlight, equipment, lighting and refrigeration are often the main sources. Consider shading windows on the outside or replacing window panes with special heat reflective glass to prevent heat build-up. Alternatively, internal blinds can be angled to redirect useful light onto the ceiling while cutting out much of the sun’s heat.
  3. Consider Zoning to Match Building Occupancy and Reduce Costs: Many buildings have problematic areas with different time and temperature requirements where only one overall heating or cooling control system exists. A solution is to ‘zone’ the building, installing separate time and temperature controls for individual areas.
  4. Daylight Blinds: Daylight blinds enable natural light to enter the space by re-directing it onto the ceiling, thereby alleviating any discomfort felt by the occupants from direct daylight. Many daylight blinds also have perforated blades to retain the employee’s view out of the window.
  5. Night Cooling: Night cooling is an established technique where cool night air is passed through the building to remove heat that has accumulated during the day. When the building fabric is cooled, it will absorb more heat the following day, meaning lower internal temperatures. The movement of cool night air may be natural or fan-assisted. This free cooling of the building reduces energy consumption otherwise used by mechanical cooling and ventilation, leading to cost savings.

Did you know?

  • An oversized HVAC system increases installation costs, wastes energy, and costs more in overall operating costs than a correctly sized system.
  • Comfort cooling by traditional air conditioning systems is very expensive. In the right circumstances low energy alternatives such as evaporative cooling systems can cut energy consumption by up to three quarters.

Learn more

Interested to know more about HVAC, refrigeration and plumbing solutions – especially the benefits and payback – why not drop us a line? Contact lryan@enersolv.ca.

Related articles

What is Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning?

The Common Components of HVAC Systems

How The Right HVAC Systems Save You Money


Insights courtesy of CarbonTrust.com, EnergyVanguard.com