3 Airside Optimization Strategies for Any Facility
An effective, real-time airside optimization strategy should continuously and automatically minimize the power required for air distribution and delivery.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are among the most energy-intensive mechanism of any business. Airside optimization can significantly reduce these expenses.

HVAC systems are in charge of keeping temperatures comfortable, humidity consistent , and indoor air quality high. Often times, however, airside optimization is not considered in facility controls.

As much of the energy and cost that goes into powering HVAC is lost to waste, these three smart airside optimization strategies can help facilities can realize significant HVAC energy savings.

Airside Optimization and Air Filtration Systems

In order for HVAC system to operate correctly and deliver proper indoor air quality (IAQ), air filter maintenance and monitoring are essential. Most BAS systems monitor for air pressure drops outside of normal ranges. When this occurs, it often means that the air filter is clogged and/or installed improperly and should be changed. Dirty filters overwork HVAC systems by restricting air flow leading to poor indoor air quality, HVAC maintenance issues and increased repair costs.

Airside Optimization: Heating and Cooling Ducts

Commercial heating and cooling systems are connected to points throughout a facility by the ductwork. Consisting of a network of large pipes, this ductwork provides a pathway for conditioned air to travel from heating and cooling equipment to the insides of a commercial building.  Any problems in a facility’s duct system — broken seals, loose or missing sections, detached pipes, or damaged ducts — can cause substantial air leaks that will result in lost energy and wasted operating dollars. Duct sealing and careful inspection and appropriate repair of the ductwork will prevent these problems. Connections between sections of ductwork should be properly sealed with mastic, a specialized rubbery compound designed especially for ducts. Metal tape can also be used. Connections can also be mechanically fastened with sheet metal screws. Standard duct tape should be avoided because the adhesive can dry out and cause the tape to fall away.

Airside Optimization and AHU Monitoring

In commercial buildings, all air handlers are built and installed with an outside air intake and damper.  This outside air intake and damper has a large effect on both the energy use of a building and the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of a building. By optimizing air handling units (AHUs), significant energy savings can be achieved.

Normally, air handlers cool or heat a mix of return air from the space it is conditioning and outside air that is required for proper IEQ. When the outside air dampers let in more outside air than required by the building code,  the air handler will use more energy than needed.  Conversely, dampers can let in too little air. This often happens when the outside dampers fail in a position where they are completely closed and do not allow any outside air into the air handler.  Advanced airside optimization solutions ensures these conditions are constantly being monitored.

Optimizing AHUs requires real-time monitoring of static pressure and supply air temperature setpoints. Sensors throughout the facility feed temperature and humidity data to a BAS or other control device and algorithms then determine optimal heating and cooling requirements, sending these efficiency setpoints back to the air handlers. Not only does this approach save energy dollars but helps ensure better occupant comfort.

tekWorx real-time airside optimization by continuously and automatically minimizing the power required for air distribution and delivery. These proven adaptive control techniques optimize air pressure, flow and temperature (system and zone) while maximizing economization mode and meeting desired space conditions.

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