October 30, 2014

Save Energy with a Commercial HVAC Upgrade

If your HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) system is more than 10 years old and you find yourself making frequent repairs, don’t wait until the system dies. Replacing an old, inefficient system can save on your utility bill and make your building far more comfortable.

HVAC refers to the equipment, distribution system, and controls that provide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning for buildings. HVAC systems are the main energy consumers in commercial buildings. They account for approximately half of all the energy used in U.S. buildings. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it also adds up to large utility bills that in turn are passed on to consumers. With some key changes to mechanical systems: right-sizing HVAC systems, adding building automation systems, upgrading to more efficient equipment can make a difference in monthly utility costs.

In addition to the energy costs, HVAC systems impact building occupants´ health, comfort, and productivity. Improving HVAC performance saves energy and promotes a healthier, more comfortable workplace. Through commercial HVAC upgrades and improvements, KMB uses its extensive engineering experience to design modifications to existing systems or add additional systems that will reduce energy usage and costs to operate the facility. The following are some more examples of KMB’s engineering solutions: Lighting Retro-Fits, Backup Generation, Energy Control Systems, Combined Heat and Power Generation and Demand Response.

Benefits to upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient HVAC system:

Save Money

Depending on the age of your current system and its SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), upgrading to a newer HVAC system could save you 20 to 40 percent on cooling costs. AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings, which are used to measure furnace efficiency, have improved dramatically over the last 30 years. Older furnaces, such as those from the 1970s, operate at approximately 65 percent efficiency, while some of today’s furnace models achieve ratings of 97 percent – near total efficiency. This results in a huge monthly energy savings over the lifetime of a new system. In addition, the operating, repair and replacement costs will be significantly decreased.

Improved Comfort

Indoor air contamination levels can be 25 times higher than outdoor air levels. In fact, indoor air quality is ranked within the top 5 environmental risks to public health according to the United States EPA. By eliminating or reducing inadequate ventilation; biological contaminants, bacteria, molds, pollen, and viruses; and inadequate temperature, humidity, and lighting, building owners can save money due to lost production and health care expenses. Newer systems do a better job of controlling temperature and humidity. They can also help by improving the air quality; cutting down on the amount of bacterium in the air.

Environmentally Friendly

Less energy consumption reduces your carbon footprint and newer systems utilize R-410A, a more environmentally friendly refrigerant. Efficient, upgraded HVAC systems are also typically smaller, and, therefore, use less material.


A commercial HVAC upgrade will increase the level of qualifying equipment performance, efficiency and reliability and reduce HVAC unit failures, which may threaten your business operations.

KMB Design Group uses our extensive utility, engineering, and construction experience to provide our clients with a unique assessment based on their specific current and future needs.