ASHRAE Energy Audits
An energy audit takes a detailed look at your building’s energy consumption data as well as energy-using systems and equipment, such as lighting, mechanical systems, electrical loads and building envelope.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has defined three levels of energy audits:
ASHRAE Level I: Walk-through assessment
If you are looking to prioritize energy efficiency projects and want to determine if a more detailed audit is necessary, then this audit may be right for you. An ASHRAE Level I audit includes an analysis of the building’s utility bills, operating data and a walk-through of the facility. The Level I audit identifies and provides savings and cost analysis of low-cost/no-cost measures and potential capital improvements.
ASHRAE Level II: Energy Survey and Analysis
This audit builds on the findings from the Level I audit and provides more detailed information and analysis of individual building systems, their operation and interaction with other systems. A detailed report will include Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs), modifications to system controls and building automation, operational changes and potential capital upgrades and will include cost and performance metrics. An ASHRAE Level II is helpful for validating project implementation.
ASHRAE Level III: Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications
For major capital investments, an ASHRAE Level III audit may be required. This is the most comprehensive energy audit and will provide detailed technical engineering information, costs, energy savings and economic indicators for the energy conservation methods studied.
Commissioning & Problem Solving
The latest building regulations emphasize the importance of commissioning a heating system that is compliant with the regulations, is energy efficient and cost-effective. Unless commissioning is completed correctly, the chances are the system will not perform to its design specification.
Because forced-air heating and cooling systems are assembled on site from multiple parts, there are many ways for installers to make mistakes. Researchers have repeatedly shown that a high percentage of residential forced-air systems have major problems, including duct systems that are poorly designed, poorly located, and leaky.
The classic solution to these problems, in addition to the obvious step of better duct system design, is to insist on a more rigorous commissioning process. Commissioning refers to the process of testing and adjusting installed equipment to be sure that it performs in accordance with the manufacturer’s specs and the designer’s intent.
VerdaTech’s HRAI certified RASDT & RHDT energy consultants can help you solve and prevent a host of problems that will reduce the efficiency of an H-VAC system.