Chicago is one of the premiere cities when it comes to environmental sustainability and green initiatives, and as a Chicago property manager, you are probably wondering how to make your building more energy efficient. One of the ways you can increase your building's energy efficiency and lower your carbon footprint is by installing Demand Control Ventilation (DCV), which is a precise way to control how much outside air your building receives.
What is Demand Control Ventilation?
Demand Control Ventilation can be part of the building’s initial design or added as a retrofit later in the building’s life-cycle. It is most commonly found in commercial kitchens that need to vent a lot of heat, moisture and cooking fumes, but it can be used in any residential or commercial building, and the reason is simple.
Demand Control systems are more energy efficient than traditional mechanical ventilation systems because they incorporate sensors and central processors to automatically adjust the rates of ventilation. The system is usually designed to ventilate for pollution caused by people occupying the space and for the pollutants caused by certain building materials, furniture and radon. When high amounts of traffic or CO2 are detected, the ventilation system increases the rate at which it allows fresh air into the area. This is usually denoted in cubic feet per minute (cfm). When traffic and/or CO2 is reduced, the system switches to a lower speed, which helps keep your building’s air fresh without dramatically increasing your operating costs.
3 Benefits of DCV
- Reduced Allergens and Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – When buildings are not properly ventilated, allergens, pollen, VOCs, fumes from chemicals, pet dander, dust and other pollutants can build-up in the air. This can result in indoor air that is significantly more polluted than the outside air. DCV helps reduce indoor air pollutants by allowing fresh air into the building.
- Improved Energy Efficiency Means Lowering Building Operating Costs – Traditional mechanical ventilation is typically on or off, which can lead to higher building operating costs. By contrast, DCV is controlled via CO2 sensors and sensors that track motion. When CO2 levels are high or the area of the building is occupied, the ventilation system activates. Once the CO2 levels return to acceptable levels or the area of the building is determined to be unoccupied, the ventilation system switches to a lower speed.
- Smart Ventilation Control – In addition to sensors and motion detectors, many DCV systems can be set according to zone and anticipated occupancy level.
Demand Control Ventilation Retrofits for Existing HVAC Systems
Our HVAC engineers and technicians can design and install a Demand Control Ventilation system that interconnects with your existing HVAC system in order to improve the ventilation and comfort of your public areas. If your multi-unit residential building in Chicago has a Building Automation System (BAS), we can integrate the new DCV system into your existing BAS system. If you do not have a BAS system, our engineers and designers can create a custom building automation system that helps you control and monitor your HVAC and ventilation systems as well as your lighting and other electrical and mechanical systems.
For more information on how a Demand Control System can save you money while improving your indoor air quality, call us at 800-225-2443.