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Reduce Operational Costs with HVAC Energy Retrofit Programs

Retailers, restaurants and office building owners can expect an immediate reduction in HVAC-related energy costs – up to 40 percent – by implementing an HVAC Energy Retrofit Program that includes installing high-efficiency equipment in existing buildings.

With the beginning of the summer cooling season, Lennox Industries presents a guide to HVAC Energy Retrofit Programs that will help businesses determine if they can reduce their operational expenses, including energy needs and repair costs associated with aging equipment. Answering “yes” to these questions indicates that savings can result from an HVAC Energy Retrofit:

  1. Is the building’s HVAC equipment 12 to 15 years old? As an HVAC system nears the end of its lifecycle – about 15 years – its reliability diminishes. Major components such as a compressor or condenser coil may need to be replaced.

    If the equipment fails in the middle of summer, emergency replacement will be necessary, which can disrupt business, lead to lost sales and require a premium to repair or replace the unit. Additionally, emergency replacement may mean compromises if units with the right features are not immediately available
  2. Are energy costs high? New, high-efficiency HVAC equipment offers immediate energy savings. Installing a high-efficiency rooftop unit with an 11.3 EER to replace a typical 7.5-ton rooftop unit from the early 1990s (with an 8.5 EER) will increase efficiency 33 percent. The higher efficiency would reduce the unit’s electric costs by $1,200 – more than $18,000 over the projected 15-year life of the system.*

    Choosing equipment with options such as economizers, available on premium Lennox rooftop units, allows businesses to take advantage of free cooling to reduce energy expenses even further. High-efficiency equipment is often eligible for rebates from utility companies and government agencies, as well as financial assistance on installation. The savings can add up to thousands of dollars per unit.
  3. Does the equipment need repairs? Older units are more likely to require expensive repairs as they age. Today’s units may not only be more durable, but offer service-friendly features designed to reduce maintenance hours. Look for slide-out blower decks such as those on the S-Class™ rooftop unit line from Lennox, and centrally located refrigerant line and service valves, like those on Lennox’ T-Class™ split systems.

    Compare the cost of replacing components on an aging 7.5-ton rooftop unit: replacing two compressors at $1200 each, a condenser coil at $1500 and a heat exchanger at $1800 can equal half the cost of replacing the entire unit with a more energy-efficient system.
  4. Can multiple units be replaced at once? Replacing more than one rooftop unit or split system spreads out fixed costs such as crane rental and travel time. Ordering multiple units at once may also increase purchasing power to reduce equipment and installation expenses.
  5. Is immediate positive cash flow desired? New HVAC equipment can be leased with little or no upfront payments required, with the lower operating costs of new equipment providing immediate positive cash flow. In addition, planning an HVAC retrofit can help a building owner control the timing of capital expenditures and select the best equipment for the company’s needs.
  6. Is the building uncomfortable? Because retrofits to any building can increase or decrease cooling needs, a site survey should be performed before new equipment is selected. An HVAC service provider will determine the condition of the equipment as well as the building’s cooling load.

    The site survey will provide an excellent opportunity to address issues of comfort and Indoor Air Quality, including fresh-air ventilation levels and high humidity concerns. Installing a dehumidification system like the Humiditrol® system from Lennox can help control mold growth and improve comfort efficiently. Installing rooftop units with thermostatic expansion valves provides peak cooling performance across the entire application range.
  7. Does the old unit use R-22 refrigerant? This chlorine-containing refrigerant is being phased out, and is being replaced with more environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R-410A. After 2020, no more R-22 will be produced for servicing or maintenance and production caps are already reducing the supply, which can increase the cost. Choosing systems that use R-410A will pay both environmental and financial dividends.

Contact a Lennox representative to learn more about HVAC Energy Retrofit Programs and the associated savings. For details, please contact Lennox at 1-800-9-LENNOX or visit www.lennox.com.

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