The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), an association dedicated to establishing standards for the HVAC maintenance and restoration industry, is urging industry professionals to practice effective energy management when cleaning coils of air conveyance systems. According to a recent study, researchers found that proper maintenance and cleaning practices in compliance with the Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration Standard (ACR), would result in at least 11% energy savings.
NADCA, otherwise known as the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association, has worked with the University of Colorado at Boulder to develop a field-testing protocol that will assist industry professionals in measuring the pressure drop in HVAC systems and estimate possible energy savings in restorations. The University is home to Larson Building Systems Laboratory, one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the world for conducting research related to heating and cooling systems.
“Dirty or contaminated filters and poorly maintained air handling systems can reduce air flow and efficiency and increase energy,” said Matt Mongiello, ASCS, president of NADCA. “It’s important to properly clean and maintain the entire HVAC system, in order to see significant energy savings.
Based on the total cleaning of heating and air conditioning systems in accordance with NADCA’S ACR Standard—which includes replacing the filter, cleaning the ductwork, blower, coils, and other air-side system components—researchers developed a computer model to help quantify the energy savings that could be attained through proper maintenance of indoor air systems. Field trials and a laboratory analysis led researchers to believe that cleaning even lightly-soiled air conveyance systems would produce substantial energy savings and improve overall indoor air quality.
According to a similar study conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the United States Department of Energy (DOE), researchers also found that regular air filter replacement can contribute to as much as 30% annual energy savings and improved indoor air quality.
“Air conveyance systems are the largest sources of energy within a home or building, so it’s extremely important to maintain and clean the units whenever needed, in order to avoid increased costs and system failures,” added Mongiello.
NADCA recognizes that reducing energy consumption remains a top priority for many business owners and homeowners across the country. As a result, the association is continuing its efforts to develop and implement an industry wide program that will promote the cleaning of entire HVAC units and air ducts as an effective energy management practice.