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Special Report: Energy-efficiency not a passing fad

Energy efficiency in HVAC systems has always been a buzzword, but how many understand it?

SPECIAL REPORTS, MEP

Energy efficiency simply means using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. We all know that much of the energy used in our home goes into heating and cooling. Therefore, making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big impact on your utility bills.

According to Koen Bogers, senior executive vice president, building technologies division, Siemens Middle East: “Cooling is considered to be responsible for approximately 70% of the GCC’s electricity demand during peak summer months, and so it’s extremely important that we evaluate the entire cooling chain to identify where technology can generate savings.”

However, with several air contionining options such as window air conditioners, split air conditioning systems, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) split systems, packaged air conditioners, etc., one might ask which is the most efficient of them all? Of course, it is not so easy to answer that as each system comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

As the knowledge partner of this special report on energy-efficient HVAC systems, Peck Zhao, marketing manager at Midea Commercial Air Conditioner, says that the best way to design an energy-efficient system is to understand the variety of chiller options based on load requirements, learn to calculate a simplified cost/tonne for estimating initial investment costs, and finally, know the appropriate calculations for determining chiller plant operational costs.

He goes on to add that in the HVAC industry, energy conservation and restricting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with high global warming potentials (GWPs) are the current major issues for HVAC equipment.

It should be well noted that, with the growing adoption of energy-rating systems in the region, there is naturally an increasing demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems. Experts say that as long as the government and clients mandate LEED and green building certifications for their projects, the demand will continue to rise.

Whether it is yet fully understood, energy efficiency is certainly being taken seriously, either consciously or through enforcement. And that’s what’s important.

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