Getting the Best from Your HVAC Economizer: News You Can Use

System Tips for Lower Bills, Peace of Mind

commercial hvac, air conditioning
Big buildings can have big problems when it comes to economizers.

When it comes to owning and maintaining a commercial building, we know all too well that every dollar counts. The bad news for building owners and managers? Your energy bills may currently feel out of control, unpredictable and far too high. We get it, and we feel your pain.

And drum roll, please: we may have a solution!

Your Economizer May Be The Problem

Required by the state of California, these economizers were intended to help business owners actually conserve energy. After all, their design centered around letting cooler air in from the outside, so you didn’t have to run the AC if it wasn’t necessary to reach the desired indoor temperature. In contrast, on hot days, the economizer would stay closed, preventing warm air from entering your building and making it even harder to keep your indoor environment cool.

It was a beautiful dream. As you may know if you have read our most recent white paper on economizers found white papers hvac economizers, dreams don’t always come true. In fact, economizers are estimated to fail 75% of the time in practical use. Remember in junior high, when certain kids who shall remain nameless would refer to a classmate’s flatulence as “silent but deadly?” Your economizer is the same! Open, malfunctioning dampers letting in more cold air on a cold day, or more hot air on a hot day, can add significantly to your energy consumption as your HVAC system works harder to cool or heat with all that unwanted outside air pouring in.

The worst part? Most people have no idea their building even has an economizer, let alone what it does (or doesn’t do). It’s like a cash dispenser in your basement, sending untracked dollars to your local utility company.

Luckily, now you know. And with a little information, your facility managers can take steps immediately to inspect and repair, if necessary, these products. You’ll see a reduction in your energy spend and greater indoor comfort as well.

Was Your Economizer Installed Correctly?

airtro-economizer-assessmentFirst, check that installation was done properly. Installing an economizer entails taking steps to ensure that outside air intake, relief air opening, relief air fan and the dampers are exactly the right size. Moreover, the controls for this equipment must be reliable and calibrated correctly to prevent disaster. Building pressure and appropriate ventilation are also important considerations.

Does Your Economizer Have Reliable Parts?

Economizers take a beating in even the best conditions. Climate plays a role, as well as the fact that economizer parts must constantly move to do their job. Unfortunately, many products, especially older models, don’t have high quality components. Dampers fail or leak. Sensors fall out of calibration or stop working entirely. All this costs money, both in terms of making your existing HVAC system have to work harder, and driving up energy consumption.

The bottom line? Get an inspection by a qualified HVAC professional for your economizer, stat. Working correctly, they can save you big money. And that’s good news!

Read more in our latest white paper about economizers hvac economizers.

Call Air-Tro for professional installation, maintenance and repair of your commercial HVAC system, including your economizer! (626) 357-3535.