Energy Efficiency For Condominiums: A Guide For Association Officers And Directors

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Title:
Energy Efficiency For Condominiums: A Guide For Association Officers And Directors
Physical Description:
Fact sheet
Creator:
Messenger, R.A.
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
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Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"Publication date: November 1991."
General Note:
"EES-9"

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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All rights reserved by the submitter.
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IR00004788:00001


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FactSheetEES-9 November1991 EnergyEfficiencyforCondominiums: AGuideforAssociationOfficersandDirectors1 R.A.MessengerandRobertS.CurlandAssociates2Asacondominiumboardmemberyouhave probablybeenfacingtheproblemofrisingutility costs.Thisguidebookprovidesmeasuresthatyour boardcanfindusefulinreducingutilitycosts.The measureslistedarenotall-inclusive.Theguidehas beenkeptshorttoemphasizeitemsthatcanmake substantialcontributionstoreducingutilitycosts. Thesuggestionslistedareintendedtoidentify energy-savingactionsyoucantake.Detailed informationoneachsuggestionisavailablefromthe appropriatecontractors,yourutilitycompany,and localcountyextensionagents. Manycondominiumassociationshavetriedoneor moreoftheserecommendationsandasaresultare alreadysavingenergyandmoney.Wehopethis guidebookwillhelpyoudothesamething.HUMIDITYCONTROLINUNOCCUPIED APARTMENTSStudiesshowthatrunninganairconditioneronly oneortwohoursperdaycancontrolhumidityinan unoccupiedapartment.Thecommonpracticeof settingthermostatsat80-820Ftocontrolhumidity oftenresultsinoperatingtheairconditioner8to12 hoursdaily.Ifa2-tonairconditionerruns10extra hoursperday,itwillconsumeupto1500unnecessary kilowatt-hours(KWH)permonth.At6ctsperKWH, thisaddsupto$90permonthtodoajobthatshould cost$9to$18permonth. Timerscanbesettoallowtheairconditionerto runonlytwohoursduringapredeterminedtime period,usually5to7a.m.Humidistatsturnontheair conditioneronlywhenthehumidityexceedsa predeterminedvalue,usually60to65percent.Both areavailablethroughelectricalorairconditioning contractorsandcanusuallybeinstalledforlessthan $100.REDUCEPUMPHORSEPOWERWater-cooledairconditionersfrequentlyusea largepumpthatcirculateswaterthroughtheunits evenwhentheunitsarenotrunning.Ifwaterisshut 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetEES-9,aseriesoftheFloridaEnergyExtensionService,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFood andAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Publicationdate:November1991. 2.R.A.Messenger,Ph.D.,P.E.,andProjectDirector,CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,Universityof Florida,GainesvilleFL32611;andRobertS.CurlandAssociates,ConsultingEngineers Theuseoftradenamesinthispublicationissolelyforthepurposeofprovidingspecificinformation.Itisnotaguaranteeorwarrantyofthe productsnamed,anddoesnotsignifythattheyareapprovedtotheexclusionofothersofsuitablecomposition. TheFloridaEnergyExtensionServicereceivesfundingfromtheFloridaEnergyOffice,DepartmentofCommunityAffairsandisoperatedbythe UniversityofFlorida'sInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesthroughtheCooperativeExtensionService.Theinformationcontainedherein istheproductoftheFloridaEnergyExtensionServiceanddoesnotnecessarilyreflecttheviewsoftheFloridaEnergyOffice. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,Dean

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EnergyEfficiencyforCondominiums:AGuideforAssociationOfficersandDirectors Page2offwhenunitsareidle,asmallerpumpcanbeused tosupplywatertotheoperatingunits. Solenoidvalvescanbeinstalledtoopenwhenthe airconditionerturnsonandtoclosewhentheair conditionerturnsoff.Thelargepumpisthen replacedbythreeorfoursmallerpumpsthatturnon asneeded.Replacinga40horsepowerpumpwith smallerpumpscansaveyoumorethan$600per monthiftheaverageloadis20horsepower. Ifyouhavewater-cooledairconditionersinyour building,youwillwanttoaskyourcontractorfor moreinformationonthissystem.REPLACECONTINUOUSVENTILATION SYSTEMSManymid-riseandhigh-risecondominiumsare equippedwithbathroomand/orkitchenventilator fansthatrun24hoursaday.Thesefansareusually locatedontheroofofthebuilding.Theylooklikebig metalmushrooms. Whenenergywaslessexpensive,thesefans providedaconvenientmeansofremovingodors. Duringheatingandairconditioningseasons,however, theyremoveupto300KWHpermonthworthof conditionedairfromeachapartment.Asaresult,if electricitycosts6ctsperKWH,eachownerpaysup to$18permonthinunnecessarycostseverymonth thatheatingorairconditioningisused. Ifpartoftheairisdrawninfromanairconditionedhallway,thentheassociationpayspartof the$18eachmonth,sincehallwayairmustthenbe replacedbyoutsideair.Whentheapartmentis unoccupiedduringthesummermonths,thesefans drawwarm,moistairintotheapartmentthrough cracksaroundwindows,doors,lightswitches,and otherplaces. Recirculatingfansthatcanbeoperatedon demand,orevenventilatingfansthatcanbeswitched onwhenneeded,caneliminatemostorallofthe wasteofthecontinuoussystem.FLUORESCENTHALLWAYFIXTURESFluorescenttubesprovideaboutthreetimesas muchlightasconventionallightbulbsofsimilar wattage.Ifyourhallwaylightsburncontinuously,you cansaveonekilowatthourpermonthforeach1.4 wattsofreductioninpowerusedbylights.Youcan alsoachievemeasurablesavingswithincandescent lampsifyouusealowerwattageorreducethehours ofoperation. Anotherfactorworthconsideringforkeeping costsdownisthemaintenancecostofreplacing burnedoutbulbs.Fluorescentlampslast12,000 hours,orabout15timeslongerthantheaverage incandescentlamp. Youmightwanttoappointacommitteetovisita fewlightingstorestoinvestigatetherecent innovationsinfluorescenthallwaylighting.Remember thatifelectricitycosts6ctsperkilowatthour,you save4.3ctseachmonthforeverywattyousave,ifthe lightison24hoursaday.HIGHEFFICIENCYOUTDOORLIGHTINGTheefficiencyofalightbulbdependsonits efficacy.Theefficacyrelatestheamountoflight produced(lumens)totheamountofelectricityused (watts).Typicallampefficacies: Incandescent-20lumens/watt MercuryVapor-50lumens/watt Fluorescent-60lumens/watt MetalHalide-90lumens/watt HighPressureSodium-120lumens/watt Ifyouarelightingyouroutdoorareaswith inefficientlamps,youareprobablyspendinguptosix timesmorethanisnecessarytoachievethedesired result.Alightingconsultantorlightingengineercan usuallyassessyourpotentialsavingsinoutdoor lightingexpenses.AIRCONDITIONERSFORCOMMONAREASBuildingcodesrequirethatasmallamountof outsideairbesuppliedtopublicareasin condominiums,butfrequentlytheopeningstooutside airaremuchlargerthanneeded.Largeamountsof warm,humidairmaybebroughtintothebuilding duringthesummermonths.Every100cubicfeetper minute(CFM)ofairbroughtintothebuildingcan addupto400KWHtomonthlycoolingbills.Since airconditionersusuallycirculateairatabout400 CFMpertonofairconditioning,a5-tonair conditioneroperatingon100percentoutsideaircan

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EnergyEfficiencyforCondominiums:AGuideforAssociationOfficersandDirectors Page3consume7200KWHpermonthmorethana5-ton unitusing10percentoutsideair.At6ctsperKWH thisamountsto$432permonth. Duringcertainmonths,itisdesirabletobring outsideairintothebuilding,Theidealarrangement istohaveoutsideairdampersthataresubstantially closedwhenitishotorcoldoutsideandopenwhen itisbetween62and72Foutside. Theinitialcostofsuchasystemmaybehigh,but thepotentialsavingsoftenprovideanexcellentreturn ontheinvestment.Anairconditioningcontractoror amechanicalengineercanadviseyouonthe feasibilityofthisinvestment.FRESHAIRTOLAUNDRYROOMSLaundryroomsareoftenprovidedwithventfans thatblowairoutofthelaundryroom.Theintentof thesefansistoremovehumidityandheatfrom washersanddryers,and,indeed,theyaccomplishthis function.Theairtheyremove,however,isusually replacedbyconditionedairatsignificantexpense. Donotairconditionlaundryroomsifpossible. Whenclothesdryersareinoperationtheyexhaustair fromtheroom.Iftheroomisair-conditioned,the exhaustedairisconditionedair,whichisexpensive andwasteful.Ifaventtotheoutsideisprovidedin laundryroomstoletairintoreplaceairusedbythe dryers,conditionedairisnotwasted.Thesavings amountto1.4KWHperhourofoperationduringthe coolingseasonand0.3KWHperhourduringthe heatingseason.COMPRESSOR/CONDENSERUNITSNearlyallair-cooledairconditioningunits installedpriorto1979werequiteinefficient.Ifthe compressoronanairconditionerfailsandiftheair conditionerhasanenergyefficiencyratio(EER) below7.0,considerreplacingtheentire compressor/condenserunitratherthanthe compressoronly.Anairconditioningcontractorcan lookuptheEERratingofyourairconditioner. Replacingonlythecompressorwillnotallowyour unittoachieveitsfullratedEER.Youmayprefera newunitbecauseairconditionersarenowavailable withEER'sashighas12.0.Newairconditionersare beingratedwithSEER'S,orseasonalenergy efficiencyratios.TheSEERreflectsslightlydifferent testproceduresandissomewhathigherthanthe EER. AunitwithdoubletheEERcostsonlyhalfas muchtooperate.Thus,ifa5-tonunitwithEERof 5.0costs$250permonthtooperate,itcanbe replacedwitha5-tonunitwithEERof10costing $125permonthtooperate.Itisaneasymatterto evaluatehowlongitwilltakefortheadded investmenttopayforitself. ResidentsofcentralornorthFloridamaywantto considerreversecycleorheatpumpsystemsofhigh efficiency.Thenewsystemsprovideyear-round comfortatmuchloweroperatingcost.KEEPHEATEXCHANGERSCLEANManycondominiumsusewater-cooledair conditioners.Water-cooled(air-to-water)units requireasupplyofwatertoabsorbheatwhichthe unithasremovedfromthesurroundingair.Thewater removestheheatbycirculatingthroughaheat exchangercoilinsidetheunit. Ifthewatercirculatingthroughtheindividual unitsisnotchemicallytreated,depositsoflimecan buildupinsidetheheatexchanger,reducingthe efficiencyoftheunitandaddingupto50percentto theoperatingcosts.Individualheatexchangersneed tobeflushedoutperiodically. Ifawellisusedtosupplycoolingwater,theneed tocleanindividualunitscanbereducedbyusinga largeheatexchangertocoolthewatercirculating throughtheindividualunits.Groundwaterremoves heatfromcirculatingwaterandthenonlythemain heatexchangerneedstobecleaned. Anotherconvenientwaytocleanallunits simultaneouslyistoinstallacleaningby-passloop.A cleaningsolutioniscirculatedperiodicallyby maintenancepersonnel.PHOTOELECTRICCONTROLSTimeswitchesareconvenientwaystoturnlights onandoff,buttheirclocksneedtobereset periodically.Photocellsadjustautomatically,turning lightsonwhenitisdarkandoffwhenitislight.

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EnergyEfficiencyforCondominiums:AGuideforAssociationOfficersandDirectors Page4Forcertainapplications,suchasturninglightson atduskandoffatmidnight,itisconvenienttousea combinationphotocell/timeclockcontrol.The photocellissettoturnthelightsonandthetime clockturnsthelightsoff. Everyhourthat1000wattsoflightingcanbekept offsavesonekilowatt-hourofelectricity.HEATEDSWIMMINGPOOLSOneofthemajorsourcesofheatlobsfrom swimmingpoolsisevaporation,andoneofthebest waystoreduceevaporativeheatlossistocoverthe pool.Coverscanbeusedwheneverthepoolis unoccupied.Theyaregoodinvestmentsforboth heatedandunheatedpools. Afterinstallingthecover,youmightwantto considerasolarheater.Recentadvancesinsolar poolheatersmakethisaveryattractiveoption. Comparethecostoftheproposedsolarsystemwith yourknownheatingcoststoseehowlongitwilltake thesolarsystemtopayforitself. Ifyouareusingelectricheattoheatyourpool, youcancutyourcostbymorethan2/3byreplacing theelectricresistanceheaterwithaheatpump. Itisagoodpracticetoavoidheatinganoutdoor poolwhentemperaturesfallbelow60Forriseabove 80F.SOLARORHEATRECOVERYSYSTEMSIfhotwaterisprovidedtooccupantsbyacentral waterheaterratherthanbyindividualheatersineach unit,solarorheatrecoverysystemsmightbefeasible. Ifpipingcanbeconvenientlyrunfromthewater tanktoasuitablelocationforsolarcollectors, approximately75KWHofhotwatercanbecollected eachmonthforeach10squarefeetofcollector installed.Thisamountvariesaccordingtolocation andtypeofcollector.EithertheFloridaSolarEnergy Centeroryourcontractorcanprovidemoredetailed information. Condominiumownersareeligiblefora40%tax creditontheindividualshareofthesolarsystemcost aslongasthecondominiumistheprimaryresidence andnotavacationhome.Iftheindividualshareis $2000,theownercantakeataxcreditof$800.The creditappliestodomestichotwatersystems. Swimmingpoolsystemsarenoteligible. Ifanairconditioningcompressoriseasily accessiblefromthecentralwaterheater,wasteheat fromtheairconditionercanbeusedtoheatwaterby installingaheatrecoveryunit.A5-tonairconditioner running10hoursperdaycanprovide150gallonsof hotwaterperdayduringtheairconditioningseason. Itwouldtake26KWHofelectricitytoheatthesame amountofwater.At6ctsperKWHthisamountsto $47permonth.REDUCEPEAKELECTRICALDEMANDIfalltheairconditionersinabuildingturnon simultaneously,aphenomenoncalledpeakingoccurs. Itisanalogoustorush-hourtrafficandtolonglines inbanks,postoffices,orgrocerystores.Inorderto meetpeakelectricaldemand,theelectricutilities needtousepeakinggeneratorswhichareexpensive tooperate.Asaresult,everyonepaysahigherrateto makeupfortheincreasedgenerationcosts. Controlofpeakusagebycyclingairconditioners onandoffonarotatingbasisiscalledload management.Loadmanagementsimplypreventsall airconditionersand/orwaterheatersfrombeing eithersimultaneouslyonoroff.Inotherwords,it evensouttheiruse. Electricutilitiesareseekingwaystoleveltheir peakgenerationrequirements.Ifyouwouldliketo explorethesavingspotentialofloadmanagementin yourbuilding,discussthematterwithyourlocal electricutilityrepresentative.GOODBOOKKEEPINGHELPSBymakingachartcomparingmonthlyelectric bills,aclosewatchcanbekeptonconsumption patterns.Sincecoststendtorisefromoneyeartothe next,itisimportanttorecordtheKWHfigures reportedoneachbill,andthencomparetheresults forthesamemonthofpreviousyears.Large discrepanciesoftenindicateequipmentmalfunction. Consumptionrecordsarealsousefulforevaluating theeffectsofconservationmeasures.Gasandelectric billsforthepreviousyearcanusuallybeobtained fromyourutilitycompaniesifyourrecordsare incomplete.

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EnergyEfficiencyforCondominiums:AGuideforAssociationOfficersandDirectors Page5Ifbillingisbasedonademandrate,theKW demandfiguresfromelectricbillsshouldbecharted separately.IflargedifferencesinKWdemandoccur frommonthtomonth,itmaybeworthwhileto considerademandlimitingdevice.ELLIPTICALFLOODLIGHTSCheckthebulbtypesusedinfixturesthatare recessedintotheceiling.Mostrecessedfixturesdo nothavebuilt-insilveredreflectors.Ordinarylight bulbsshouldneverbeusedinrecessedfixturesthat donothavereflectors.Theycauseheatbuild-up withinthefixture,shorteningthelifeofthefixture andsometimescreatingafirehazard. Ifyouhaverecessedfixtureswithoutreflectors,you mightwishtoconsiderusingthenew"elliptical"types offloodlights.Testshaveshownthatif100-or150wattreflectorbulbsareused,theycanbereplaced withthenewtype75ER30,75-wattellipticalfloods. Similarly,75-wattreflectorbulbscanbereplacedwith type50ER30,50-wattellipticalfloods.A75-wattbulb uses25percentlessenergythana100-wattbulb,and 50percentlessthana150-wattbulb.INSULATEATTICAREASCheckatticareastobesuretheyareadequately insulated.Iftheinsulationisfiberglassormineral wool,itshouldbe6-8inchesthickandshouldspring backintoplaceifitiscompressedandreleased. Celluloseinsulationshouldbe5-6inchesthickand uniformlydistributed. Ifyoudecidetoaddinsulation,youwillwanttosee whetheryourcountyhasabuildingproductsapproval board.Onlyinsulationtypescertifiedbyacounty productapprovalboardorlocalbuildingdepartment shouldbeused. Wheninsulationisinstalled,itisespeciallyimportant tomaintaina3-inchclearancefromrecessedlighting fixtures.Yourcountyextensionagentorinsulation contractorcanprovideyouwithmoreinformationon insulation.CARPOOLINGThesuburbansprawlwhichcharacterizesmanyof Florida'sheavilypopulatedareasmakesitdifficultfor transportationplannerstoimplementadequatebus routes.Asaresult,Floridianstendtobedependent onprivateautomobilesfortransportation. Privateautomobilesareexpensive.Studiesshowthat itcostsmorethan$1000peryeartoownan automobile,evenifitisneverdriven.Thus,ifan adequatecar-pooling,van-poolingormini-bussystem canbedeveloped,substantialdollarsavingscanresult. Manycondominiumassociationshaveimplementeda formofridesharing.Yourcooperativeextension agentcanprovideyouwithdetailsofsomeoftheir experiences.