An Energy Management System For Your Commercial HVAC Units Can Save You Nearly 50% In Energy Bills

An Energy Management System For Your Commercial HVAC Units Can Save You Nearly 50% In Energy Bills

by | Commercial HVAC, Energy Efficiency, Facility Maintenance, Facility Management

EMS Savings by CMI MechanicalA commercial HVAC system is responsible for as much as 40% of a building’s energy use and for large facilities.

They can run in the tens of thousands of dollars per month. With so much money spent on one building system, operators and building managers can realize substantial savings by taking steps to improve the efficiency and energy use of their HVAC system.

Modifying the HVAC controls can yield the quickest return of almost any energy-savings techniques available.

The evolution of HVAC controls from simple, stand-alone thermostats to highly technical energy management systems, or EMS, has brought down the cost of operating commercial HVAC systems while maintaining or even improving the comfort of the indoor environment.

What Is An Energy Management System?

HVAC-Energy-Management-System - CMI MechanicalAn Energy Management System (EMS) is a computer-controlled network of sensors, thermostats, and monitors that bring the operation of a building’s HVAC system to a central point, usually a digital panel or dedicated computer.

By bringing the control of the entire HVAC system to one computer, operators can easily make adjustments to the system that save energy such as turning off the equipment in unoccupied areas or raising or lowering temperature set-points based on occupancy.

Additionally, the EMS can indicate when components of the HVAC system are broken or operating out of range. EMS alarms sent to the operator reveal problems like failed thermostats, broken motors, or inoperable pumps.

What Are The Benefits of Installing An EMS?

HVAC-Energy-Management-System - CMI MechanicalA Department of Energy report showed that a properly installed EMS “could cut commercial building energy consumption by approximately 29%.”

The report went on to say that the 29% savings was the average savings across a variety of buildings, but some buildings saw even greater savings including secondary schools at 49% and stand-alone retail at 41%.

The potential energy savings for commercial HVAC units by using energy management systems are significant.

An EMS For Your HVAC Units Also Increases Productivity

Energy savings should never come at the expense of comfort, and modern EMS’s give building managers the ability to improve temperature control while still maintaining system efficiency.

One example is “demand control ventilation” or DCV which is the control of outside air levels in the building to help dilute indoor pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

As CO2 levels increase in densely occupied areas like classrooms or conference centers, occupants get tired and productivity drops off.

Energy Management System’s with DCV can monitor CO2 levels, sense higher than normal levels, and open up outside air dampers to bring in additional fresh air to dilute the indoor CO2 concentration. With CO2 levels lowered, performance and attention of the occupant’s returns to normal.

As mobile phone and internet technology matured, EMS designers have incorporated the advancements in their architecture allowing building managers to monitor and control facilities remotely.

Instead of trend logs and building data stored on local hard drives, data can be kept on the cloud and accessed through a web browser anywhere in the world.

Energy Management System hardware is also improving with wireless sensors replacing hard-wired thermostats to decrease material costs and reduce install times. “Smart” thermostats sense when people enter and leave a room and adjust the HVAC system accordingly while energy monitors alert maintenance staff when the building is using more energy than it should.

EMS’s are more intuitive than ever before and are truly on the cutting edge of computing technology and green building management.