Insights | MCC Energy Strategies Inc.



Efficiency savings through HVAC equipment maintenance, especially economizers.

HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) Equipment
Regular maintenance of HVAC systems may increase energy efficiency, a number of studies quantified the potential energy savings as a result of effective maintenance. These studies are categorized in terms of: HVAC component failures and prospective energy savings for correcting failures in question and interviews with HVAC maintenance specialists. According to these studies the
following energy savings are possible, in terms of HVAC component maintenance [82]:

  • Repairing or adjusting economizer actuators or dampers may offer savings of 14% to 40%.
  • Repairing failed sensors may provide savings of up to 40% if these sensors are required for optimal economizer operation.
  • Maintaining adequate refrigerant charges/levels may introduce savings of 5%–11%.

In retrospect, best practices in HVAC equipment maintenance may reduce energy usage in the
range of 10% to 20%, while poor or inadequate maintenance may be responsible for increased energy
usage on the order of up to 60% [83].

Energies 2020, 13-00569 pages 16-17 from

Given that HVAC systems typically account for 44% of commercial buildings’ energy consumption¹, HVAC optimization should be a priority efficiency upgrade after lighting improvements and other low hanging fruit. Full-scale HVAC optimization typically reduces energy usage and costs by 20% to 40%, improves system reliability by operating equipment more efficiently and at optimal temperatures, ensures consistently healthy air quality and building comfort, and reduces a building’s carbon footprint.

If you hire an engineering firm to perform the optimization, you should estimate a cost of 22 cents per square foot to account for labor and hardware. Using this formula, if your building is 100,000 square feet and used a total of $300,000 in utilities in the past year, your potential savings would be $30,000 per year. The cost to get those savings? $22,000, with a simple payback of about 9 months.


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Contact MCC Energy and we'll set up a time to visit your location, assess the problem, get to studying it and (where applicable) have Efficiency NS fund a Feasibility Study. ASAP we will get back to you with ideas for energy efficiency to move forward.