Yes, you have an economizer. No, it is not your spouse or significant other. Nor is it your CPA. If you’re not acquainted with your economizer don’t feel bad, neither are some HVAC technicians. But if you have an office or production area with a rooftop unit, allow us to introduce you two.
Your Quiet Friend, The Economizer
If anyone reading this remembers the lonely Maytag repairman, he was the life of the party compared to how many people know (or care) about the HVAC Economizer. Going back even farther, the first patented Economizer was registered by Edward Green in 1845 and was used on boilers. Since that time, Economizer designs have gone from purely mechanical to hybrid. But YOUR Economizer is part of the roof top HVAC system. It arrived as either part of the equipment or was retrofitted when the unit was serviced at some point. When you adjust the thermostat to cool your space, thanks to the Economizer, your systems stops and measures two things:
- Is the air outside cooler than what you’re requesting?
- Is it below a pre-set humidity level?
If the answer to both is YES, your HVAC system draws in the air without turning on the compressor to cool it. That little step can save YOU a lot of money!
There are 4 basic Types of Economizers
- Integrated Differential
- Dry Bulb
Regardless of the design that used in your system, one thing each Economizer will require to meet peak efficiency (and continue to save you money) is maintenance. Unless your current technician records they have inspected or serviced this piece of equipment, we recommend you ask.
You see, most HVAC systems can function even if the Economizer is not working properly. It’s a fail-safe design to ensure the building interior receive the air quality that’s requested and needed. If compressors are called on to cool air when its below 50° outside, they can suffer damage. This can lead to costly and completely avoidable repairs. In the event there is a simple mechanical failure, the system may be unable to regulate how much air is brought into it. This situation poses a threat to equipment safety, energy consumption and (potentially) air quality.
This is why it’s so important to clean, calibrate and test the operation of the economizer. At Triton Mechanical this is included in every maintenance we perform.
Save time. Save Money. Breathe easy with the Commercial Refrigeration and HVAC Professionals at Triton Mechanical.