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Saving Water by Reducing Energy Consumption in Your HVAC System

06 July 2021

his article originally appeared on

By Ian Dempster

Saving Water by Reducing Energy Consumption in Your HVAC System

Most facility managers have no idea how much water they’re wasting through their HVAC systems. Fortunately, cutting this waste is a happy byproduct of optimizing HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption and costs. Improving the efficiency of a central plant’s HVAC system, including automating components for real-time optimal performance, can cut chiller water use by thousands of gallons.

Commercial buildings often draw more water for cooling and heating than for any other use—including the far more obvious ones. Water consumption varies by climate and building type, but studies show the HVAC system may account for up to 48 percent of a building’s water consumption, with restrooms and kitchens using 31 to 37 percent, and landscaping accounting for only 18 to 22 percent.

An HVAC optimization solution should reduce the system’s energy usage and costs, decrease water usage in chiller plants, and track savings. It should also calculate the most efficient operation of the whole system – whether that’s one building or an entire campus – in real time, automatically and continuously optimizing the performance of the chiller plant.

Energy and water savings go hand in hand. If a facility’s cooling tower is using more than 3 gallons of water per ton-hour of cooling, the HVAC system is running inefficiently. Optimization can cut that usage to 2.5 to 2 gallons per ton-hour of cooling while reducing energy use and costs.

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