Advanced Controls for Rooftop Units Pays Back

A year-long study conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of rooftop packaged HVAC equipment at malls, hospitals and other buildings in the USA found, “Commercial buildings could cut their heating and cooling electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy-efficiency controls”.

The main goal of the campaign, http://www.advancedrtu.org, is to encourage installation of advanced controls for rooftop HVAC units.  PNNL has created a table with typical HVAC unit sizes, operational characteristics and costs to help building owners “weigh the costs” of advanced controls.  For instance building owners could achieve a 3 year payback with an installation of a unit that is 15 tons or less and electricity costs are greater than or equal to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

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PNNL: News – Highly insulating windows are very energy efficient, though expensive

” For this study, the PNNL team studied the effect of replacing aluminum-frame double-pane windows, which are common in homes across the country, with newer, triple-pane windows, also known as highly insulating windows. The team found that the newer windows slash energy use in the home by 12.2 percent. But because of the cost of the highly insulating windows, it would take anywhere from 23 to 55 years for the reduced energy cost to make up for the increased expense.”
http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=1026