Lennox Commercial

Lennox News Room

Increase your HVAC purchasing power

As inflation erodes the dollar’s buying power, it becomes more and more important to increase the payback of every commercial building investment. Choosing the right HVAC system can reduce operational costs, save time during installation and maintenance, improve the customer/employee environment, increase productivity and help meet important sustainability initiatives.

Here are some factors to keep in mind before investing in a commercial HVAC system:

1. Consider total cost of ownership. Choosing a system with a lower lifecycle cost will have a much bigger impact on your bottom line than choosing the lowest-priced equipment. Taking into account projected expenses such as annual energy usage, installation and maintenance cost, repairs and financing along with the initial cost of the equipment, will help you determine the actual financial impact of your system.

Choosing a system with a lower total cost of ownership can save you money now and for the next decade (or longer) by reducing your facility’s energy usage, the number of labor hours needed for installation and maintenance. Ask your HVAC representative if the manufacturer offers special financing for high-efficiency equipment.

2. Selecting a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® qualified model can help reduce energy costs considerably over a standard efficiency system while providing a high level of performance. Rooftop units are now available with efficiency ratings up to 17 SEER, 14.3 EER and 16.8 IPLV; systems with a higher IPLV rating can help reduce energy use year-round, especially during spring and fall when only part-load operation is needed. Look for innovative developments, such as the blower belt auto tensioner available on the Energence® rooftop units to maximize efficiency, and the MSAV™ (multi-stage air volume) supply fan technology available on Strategos™ rooftop units from Lennox. MSAV technology provides up to seven levels of airflow to control energy usage while still meeting comfort requirements.

3. Seek out efficiency rebates. Concern over the cost of building new power plants and bottlenecks in power transmission has utility companies looking for ways to control load growth on their systems. Many regional utilities are offering rebates to make high-efficiency equipment more attractive to commercial customers. Call your local utility for details on what’s available in your area. Your city or state energy office may also offer special incentives for high-efficiency equipment.

4. Focus on indoor air quality. Another important factor to consider is how the system you buy can affect your building’s indoor air quality (IAQ), such as humidity levels and fresh-air ventilation.

Many HVAC systems only regulate humidity with temperature control. A unit that measures both humidity and temperature allows you to control building comfort more accurately and effectively. These systems are available for both rooftop units and split systems.

Additionally, most HVAC systems provide ventilation based on assumed occupancy, rather than how many people are in the room at any given time. Installing a Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) system with a carbon dioxide sensor provides an accurate reading of a room’s occupancy level, then controls the amount of fresh air introduced based on output from the CO2 sensor. By providing just the right amount of fresh air, a DCV system can also help control energy expenses.

5. Investigate advanced control systems to take your comfort control to a higher level. These systems make it possible to improve energy efficiency, simplify troubleshooting, even monitor and control a wide range of fire and life safety systems, access and security control technology, lighting equipment and maintenance management programs on the same network. Look for a control system that offers open protocol options such as LonTalk® and BACnet to take advantage of increased integration with other building systems.

6. Understand the type of components your HVAC system uses, and determine whether it will give you the option to upgrade to more efficient components later. Ask about the availability of energy-saving features and options such as economizers that can allow your building to take advantage of free cooling.

7. Evaluate the vendor’s delivery process. Will the equipment arrive on time for installation? If it’s late, the resulting delays or downtime could drive up the cost and length of the installation. Determine whether there are regional distribution depots near the jobsite, and whether service components are easily available from nearby supply houses.

8. Stress reliability, looking for features such as high- and low-pressure switches that protect compressors from unnecessary wear and tear to minimize repair expenses. Choose a system from a manufacturer with the ISO-9001 quality designation, which assures that consistent processes are used to build products that meet the industry’s highest standards.

9. Look for equipment that arrives ready to install on the job site, without field-installed accessories that increase labor hours and the likelihood of errors during installation. Choose a system that’s easy to service, with easily accessible components such as a pull-out blower compartment or coil cleaning access door. Also, systems with keyed and color-coded connectors can reduce installation hours, while diagnostic capabilities (such as rooftop units that feature numerous diagnostic codes) can reduce maintenance and troubleshooting time dramatically. Look closely at any warranties offered.

10. Assess manufacturer support. Just as important as the equipment you choose is the customer service the manufacturer provides. Never underestimate the usefulness of a toll-free number you can call for help on service issues, delivery confirmation and other concerns. Also, ask whether you can go directly to the manufacturer and speak with a technical representative about the equipment and service.

Lennox offers a wide range of commercial HVAC systems that can help you get more out of your HVAC investment, such as:

  • Strategos rooftop units with the MSAV option
  • Energence rooftop units - the most energy efficient light commercial rooftop unit1.
  • Humiditrol® dehumidification systems for both rooftop units and split systems, significantly outperforming standard dehumidification systems

LonMark and LonTalk are registered trademarks of the Echelon Corporation.

If you would like to receive more tips from Lennox, sign up for our Get Connected and Lennox Innovations enewsletters.

© 2019 Lennox International Inc.