If you went to the doctor with a sore throat, and the doctor never asked you any questions, inquired about any other symptoms, and never examined or performed any tests on your throat, how confident would you be in his diagnosis of strep throat? Chances are, you would be skeptical.
He could be right, of course. But there are also a thousand other potential causes for a sore throat, and in this scenario, there is no true way of knowing what’s causing yours.
That helps to illustrate the benefit of an HVAC assessment for Charlotte area commercial building owners and facility managers who would like to improve energy efficiency and control operating costs. Although there are some general suggestions any expert could make for accomplishing those goals, it’s ultimately unclear until an expert reviews your facility’s systems directly and identifies exactly where energy is being wasted or performance could be enhanced.
What is an operational assessment?
If your building has never experienced this service before, you may wonder what a HVAC operational assessment actually is.
In short, an operational assessment is an organized overview of a facility’s entire HVAC system by trained professional technicians with a focus on historical and current usage data, utility costs, and maintenance records, which are used to identify trends and bring abnormalities to light.
The assessment includes testing and analysis of the current system’s mechanical integrity, identifying areas where strategic repair, replacement and/or upgrade could provide improved efficiency or performance. Building automation and analytics systems will be evaluated, including all controls. If an Energy Engineer is involved in the assessment, they will be on the lookout for opportunities for energy rebates, enhancing comfort, improving redundancy, and reliability.
Why start with an operational assessment?
The operational assessment provides the ideal foundation for future maintenance as well as capital expenditure planning.
It offers a baseline understanding of a commercial HVAC system’s current and historical usage and cost patterns, which helps identify its potential as well as its current capacity. The gaps between the two provide areas for improvement which can then be effectively prioritized.
The resulting list of recommended maintenance activities, replacements, and upgrades provides a prioritized “to do list” for facility managers wishing to improve building energy efficiency and system performance.
At the top of the list will be “low hanging fruit”, such as low cost, high yield actions that can be taken immediately to provide dramatic return quickly. Recommendations further down the list will often require investment as long-term projects that will need to be planned and budgeted for, but that will also provide a valid ROI upon completion.
Finally, the assessment utilizes the expertise of your commercial HVAC company to identify those potential upgrades, enhancements, or replacements that really won’t yield an adequate return in the form of building efficiency or lower operating costs. Just as it’s important to know what will help your facility, it’s useful to get professional insight about what may not be a benefit based on your building’s unique circumstances.
If you’d like to start your energy efficiency goal setting off on the right foot this quarter, contact our team of experienced HVAC professionals in the Charlotte NC area today to learn more and to arrange an operational assessment for your commercial facility.