HVAC vent in office ceiling
HVAC vent in office ceiling

The Impact of COVID-19 on Energy Efficiency

14 February 2022

COVID-19 restrictions require businesses to implement new maintenance, cleaning and ventilation routines to manage the internal environmental conditions and improve internal air quality (IAQ) to help limit the spread of the virus.

However, the measures put in place to ensure healthy IAQ levels could have an adverse effect on buildings’ energy efficiency as facilities managers seek to create harmony between enhanced ventilation and comfortable internal temperatures. Our CODA device can help to manage this, which, in turn, will reduce energy costs and lower carbon emissions.

To encourage customers back to hospitality and retail venues and for employees to feel safe and confident to return to their workplaces, there is a renewed focus on creating safe environments for building users, and ventilation is at the heart of this.

Poor ventilation increases the volume of disease-causing pathogens, which therefore increase the risk of spreading illnesses. To combat this, many businesses are keeping doors and windows open to create a flow of fresh air. A good solution for the milder temperature months, but as winter sets in, this solution poses its issues, forcing building managers to use heating systems to balance the external temperatures.

This results in the running of HVAC equipment at higher settings and for more extended periods of time and immediately impacts not only the financial and environmental costs of running the building but can also reduce the lifecycle of the system as it works harder for longer to maintain a comfortable internal temperature.

Internet of Things (IoT) and digitalisation solutions can help to mitigate these additional running costs. CODA, our unique combination of cost-effective monitoring control and data analytics, works with IAQ sensors to provide granular insights on a building’s air quality, detailing the CO2 and volatile organic compound (VOC) levels, temperature, and humidity. As well as monitoring IAQ levels, the system can connect to the building’s HVAC and automatic door and window opening devices. Should the desired IAQ levels deviate from the ideal set-points, CODA can automatically alter the HVAC settings or open windows to bring internal air quality back within the optimum range.

Not only does this digitalised solution ensure the best possible internal air quality for building users, but it means that the ventilation controls are only increased at points when they are required. Instead of running heating systems at higher temperatures throughout the day, CODA can ensure that the heating is only boosted when temperatures have dropped below their optimum level. This can significantly reduce the building’s energy bills, improve its overall efficiency, and reduce the pressure on the HVAC system and its lifecycle.

In addition to improving buildings’ internal air quality, the CODA system can also help limit the spread of COVID-19 by monitoring and maintaining the building’s occupancy. Occupancy sensors can provide alerts when areas become overcrowded to help maintain safe social distancing at all times. By measuring occupancy levels, it’s also possible to run assets more efficiently. For example, CODA can detect if a room is empty and then switch off the lighting and HVAC system to improve energy efficiency further and prevent unnecessary running costs.

For more information on how CODA can help you manage and maintain good internal environmental conditions for your colleagues and customers, please get in touch with the team on email: info@codacloud.io – we’d be happy to discuss your requirements in further detail.