Everyone loves the turning of the seasons, what with leaves changing, snow falling, pools opening and the like. But Mother Nature has little concern for the comfort of humans, so fluctuating temperatures bring the need for residential heating and cooling technology.
In condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations, residential heating and cooling (HVAC for short) can be major, both in terms of financial cost and energy expenditure. To keep those under control, it would behoove any association board to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations in HVAC, and make sure their own equipment and systems are up-to-date and well-maintained.
All the Small Things
Starting at a micro level, there are things that every unit owner or shareholder can do within their individual domiciles in order to conserve energy and help cut costs, both for themselves, and community-wide.
Matthew Swanson of Elara Energy Services in Hillsdale, Illinois notes that energy conservation best starts with an energy audit. “When people approach us, first we have to figure out how they’re spending their utility costs, in order for us to target where energy can be saved,” he says. “Through an energy audit, we can figure out a lot of details as to what their building systems are consuming, and use our research for specific targeting.”
“People will ask about installing solar panels or wind towers and all of that fancy stuff, but the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines recommend that one not touch any renewable energy source until they fix simple things within their buildings via an energy audit,” adds Brendan A. Yadav, principal at Yadav Solutions, Inc. in New York City, pointing out that if an association doesn’t take care of local, more minor inefficiencies before attempting an HVAC overhaul, they won’t get the full benefits of that upgrade.