Aug 03

Commercial HVAC Replacement and Retrofit Tips from Comfortrol

Planning is Key to Smart Retrofit and Replacement Decisions

Comfortrol has been a leading Commercial HVAC Replacement and Retrofit expert since 1988

Dear Customer,

Your HVAC systems are critical to your ongoing business operations. They also represent a sizable business expense, both in up-front investment and in ongoing operating costs.

Whether you’re replacing existing systems, adding additional capacity to meet the changing needs of your operations – or simply looking for solutions to improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort – strategic planning is vital not only to minimizing your total costs, but also to ensuring that your new systems best meet the current and future needs of your building.

Once your master plan is in place, the actual work may be done in stages, as funding or time permits. As always our experienced team of estimators, project managers, and engineers are here to answer your questions and offer our guidance.

Sincerely,
Michael Kimmet, President

Give us a call 1-614-337-0111 or our toll free number 1-800-886-8891.  We will be happy to help with all of your commercial HVAC replacement and retrofitting questions!

Tanger Outlet HVAC Installation in Columbus Ohio via helicopter lift commercial hvac replacement

Ten retail buildings, 382 thousand sq. ft. of space, over 170 rooftop units. Kudos to Project Manager, Kurt Pearce, and a huge Thank You for the extraordinary efforts of our entire install team!

Consider Changes in Your Building’s Layout, Heat Load, or Processes

The easiest and quickest way to replace an older HVAC system is to put in a new version of the old system. But “on the fly” replacement decisions can result in costly mistakes, and missed opportunities. When a system is originally installed, it is sized and designed to meet the needs of the building at that time; but buildings change, and so do the operations that take place within the buildings.

Considering the following factors will help to ensure optimization of your new HVAC systems by properly matching the most appropriate alternative to the intended space and application:

  • Has the building’s layout or purpose changed, resulting in areas that are always too hot, or too cold?
  • Has added equipment significantly increased the heat load of a space?
  • Conversely, has converting a space to an alternate use significantly decreased the heat load, resulting in a unit that is now over sized for the existing space and application?
  • Have changes in processes resulted in air quality, climate control, or ventilation issues?

The ideal result – from an energy efficiency and an occupant comfort standpoint – is to provide cooling only where you need it, and downsize capacity in other building spaces accordingly.

Planned Replacement: Consider Possible Cost Efficiencies

In addition to allowing you to control the timing of your capital expenditure, Planned Replacement of aging HVAC equipment – as opposed to continuously making emergency repair or replacement decisions – affords some significant cost saving benefits:

  • Replacing multiple units at one time spreads out fixed costs, such as crane rental and permit fees, resulting in a lower replacement cost per unit.
  • Avoids unplanned downtime, which can seriously disrupt your business.
  • Allows you the time to select the best equipment for your current needs.
  • Prevents “throwing good money after bad” through increasingly costly repairs made to aging equipment.
  • You can explore options for defraying upfront costs, such as energy rebates, tax advantages, or equipment leasing. Combined with the lower operating costs of new, more energy efficient equipment, your actual cash outlay may actually be significantly lower than you might think.

Are you are considering between “repair vs. replacement” scenarios and would like a FREE ROI analysis? Contact us today!

Retrocommissioning and Retrofit Solutions for Optimizing Your Current Systems

For a variety of reasons, it may make more sense to upgrade your existing HVAC equipment, in order to make them less costly to operate and maintain, as well as better able to adequately control space temperature and humidity. Depending on the type of system, there are a variety of energy-efficient retrofit options available, including:

  • Supply fan speed controls: Adjust the speed of your fans as your heating and cooling needs vary.
  • Demand-controlled ventilation: Adjusts your intake of outside air based on the carbon dioxide levels in the space.
  • Cooling capacity controls: For a system that can run the compressors at varying speeds, reduce the load when you don’t need the system running at full capacity.

In many cases, simple post-occupancy commissioning of the HVAC systems can yield significant savings. Installation problems are rampant, even in relatively new buildings. According to findings compiled by New Buildings Institute, common defects in rooftop HVAC equipment less than five years old included:

  • Inoperative or missing economizers
  • Refrigerant overcharged or undercharged
  • Low air flow; and
  • Fans running during occupied periods.

Consider New Developments in Building Automation

The technology for building automation is rapidly advancing, while at the same time becoming much more affordable for a variety of facilities and needs. From schools and churches who are looking for an affordable way to reduce energy costs, to restaurants and other controlled environment facilities who must maintain specific temperature and humidity ranges, there is a system available that can provide any, or all of the following features:

  • Wireless technology: Makes the new systems easy and cost effective to install, and even easier to use – providing remotes access from a laptop or smartphone, and at a much friendlier price tag than the traditional Building Management System (BMS).
  • Per zone HVAC and lighting control: Using occupancy sensors, scheduling, or a combination, to switch on your HVAC and lighting only when people are present.
  • User friendly interfaces and web-based portals: Allowing building managers – even of multiple, scattered site facilities – to easily monitor and make changes to their system schedules based on occupancy schedules.
  • Real time alerts: Notifies you immediately if a system is malfunctioning.

Tanger Outlet in Columbus Ohio – Commercial HVAC Replacement and Retrofit

Watch the video of out helicopter team dropping off a new HVAC unit at Tanger Outlet

“We recouped our investment in less than a year by reducing energy costs. At the same time, we significantly reduced the amount of time spent managing the facility, enabling us to focus on our core mission.” – Blair Nordvedt, Facilities Manager of Grace Community Church, who installed the Autani EnergyCenter. They are just one of the non-proprietary building automation systems that Comfortrol can provide Commercial HVAC Replacement and Retrofit services.

Read the full Grace Community Church Case Study >>

Feb 06

Optimal Performance of Commercial HVAC Systems

Optimal Performance of Commercial HVAC Systems: Key to Energy Efficiency

Commercial HVAC Energy Savings  

Energy savings is increasingly important to all of our customers, and it has always been important to us to partner with our customers in helping to control your energy costs – whether we are doing a new design-build, making recommendations for retrofits or equipment upgrades, or performing seasonal planned preventive maintenance.  

We hope that you find some of these tips useful, and as always we are here to answer your questions and offer our guidance.

 

Make Sure Your Planned Preventive Maintenance Program Covers All Energy Saving Bases

Energy savings of up to 20% can be achieved through Operation and Maintenance (O&M) programs targeting items such as calibrating system sensors, cleaning coils, monitoring oil levels, verifying proper operation of air dampers and economizers, and detecting leaks.

 

Optimize Building Controls and Energy Management Systems

Make sure that you are maximizing the benefits from your building controls by programming setback schedules for unoccupied hours and zones, reducing outside airflow rates, and monitoring exhaust fan controls.


 

Retrofits and Planned Replacements

With motor driven equipment accounting for 64% of the electricity consumed by U.S. industry, installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on HVAC fans and pumps, which adjusts a motor’s speed to match the required load, has become a popular solution for reducing electrical usage.  (See “Control Your Energy Costs With Variable Frequency Drives.”)  Depending on the type and use of your facility, economizer retrofits and zoning systems may also be options for delivering energy savings.

 

When planning any type of equipment replacement, conduct an ROI on a “high efficiency” vs. a “standard efficiency” system, and make sure that you “right size” your replacement equipment, as greatly over-sized equipment – not uncommon in commercial buildings! – costs more to operate than properly sized equipment. You may also want to consider switching to more energy-efficient types of equipment, such as replacing unit heaters with direct fired makeup air units or industrial heating systems.

Feb 02

2015 Pulse of the City Award Winner | Comfortrol of Columbus, OH

We were awarded the 2015 Pulse of the City badge for customer satisfaction for our commercial HVAC services throughout Columbus, Ohio!

2015 Pulse of the City Award Winner

From Pulse:

“Congratulations on earning top customer satisfaction ratings and winning the 2015 Pulse of the City News Award for excellence in customer service. With a 5 star rating, Comfortrol, Inc. has joined an elite group of award winners that gives a distinct advantage in attracting new business. With 2016 research underway, now is the perfect time to order your materials for 2015 while they are still available.”

We thank all of our Columbus clients and their amazing feedback on our business.

We are truly dedicated to our clientele in our locale. Our staff is beyond equipped with talent and expertise in all areas of commercial heating, air conditioning and ventilation.

With a collective 75 years of management experience and 170 years of field experience, Comfortrol offers our clients all of those things.

Thanks again all of Columbus for rating us with 5-stars!

Dec 15

Commercial HVAC Maintenance Tips

We have some commercial heating and cooling system tips for you.

Commercial HVAC tipsAs a business, you must remember that your heating and air conditioning system is pretty important to the business on many levels.

It just so happens that commercial air conditioning systems use a WHOLE lot of energy and can cost a lot of money to run.

Fortunately, over the past few years, heating systems and A/C units have really grown in the area of energy efficiency. If you have an old AC unit, it’s usually best to simply replace the entire unit with a new one. But it isn’t always easy or cost-effective to just replace your current HVAC unit.

We are here to give you some advice on how to keep your commercial HVAC system in great shape, use less energy, and save costs.

  • First think about how to reduce your usage of heat or ac before considering new equipment. Think about what you NEED before you jump into anything.
  • Always, always have us quote you on the specs of a new cooling system. You can avoid extra costs at the time of installation by knowing the efficiency and lifestyle costs of a new system. Ask questions!
  • Know your size. If you over-size your new HVAC equipment, you could run into massive installation costs that you might not actually need to deal with. Request a professional sizing calculation.
  • Energy-Star qualified? Try to go with this when purchasing new commercial HVAC units. You will notice the benefits.
  • Don’t forget the VENTILATION in HVAC. Make sure you have energy-recovery ventilation systems so your air streams are exhausted properly keeping your business air clean, fresh and efficient.
  • Do you have a humidity issue? Get a dehumidifier. Seems pretty simply, but it is often overlooked. This can also help you downsize unnecessary equipment.
  • Do you have a dry climate issue? Get an evaporator cooler. These eliminate the need for heavy-duty compressors.

May 17

Comfortrol Shows Appreciation for Pastors Breakfast!

Pastors Appreciation Breakfast – May 22, 2014

Over 600 Pastors are expected to attend the 14th Annual Pastors Appreciation Breakfast, taking place May 22 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

Sponsored by 880 AM WRFD, this annual event gives Pastors an occasion to be with other Pastors and receive fresh insight and encouragement in their tireless service to their congregations and their communities.

“We are looking forward to seeing some of the many Pastors and friends that we have worked with over the years,” stated Comfortrol President Mike Kimmet.

Click here (or the photo below) to learn more about this event and for registration details! Comfortrol Supports Pastors Appreciation