Which ASHRAE energy audit is right for you?Sep 13, 2013
Has your business identified the need to increase energy efficiency? Or are you being asked to carve 10% off your energy budget, but you have no idea where to start? If you think your building could be using energy more efficiently, or you wonder how you might prioritize a series of upgrades that are being suggested, an ASHRAE energy audit provides the ideal starting point.
ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Its mission “advances the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world.” ASHRAE provides guidelines for a series of audits that enable a systematic approach to problem solving and decision making.
ASHRAE energy audit level 1
Called a “walk-through” or “simple” audit, the goal of this type of audit is to get a sense of “the lay of the land,” energy-wise. Using interviews, a tour of the property, and review of utility bills and other data, a baseline is established that can be compared with similar buildings. Usually this level of audit does not result in detailed suggestions for improvements, but can point the way for big-picture issues that might need to take top priority
ASHRAE energy audit level 2
This audit takes the basics and expands on them, evaluating each building system in detail, from building envelope to HVAC, and analyzes not just base costs, but also seasonal and other variations. Time is taken to evaluate indoor environmental quality as well as the status of building systems, with the goal of producing actual recommendations for increasing energy efficiency and improving quality of life for building occupants.
ASHRAE energy audit level 3
Sometimes Level 2 is all that is needed, but if capital-intensive retrofits are revealed in the Level 2 reports, a Level 3 audit may be required to determine the specific levels of costs and benefits associated with making a deeper investment. This determination is made using a computer simulation, modeled on the building itself, in order to figure out best practices and real costs for more expensive undertakings.
Regardless of what level of ASHRAE audit you might need, the best place to start is with a conversation. Contact sys-tek today to learn more about our free Retro-Commissioning assessments.