Having a parking garage in your apartment or commercial building is very convenient and it will make your tenants happy. At the same time it will probably drive your utility bill way up. In a large office building and/or mixed-use development, parking garage ventilation can represent 30% or greater of the property’s total annual energy bill, consuming upwards of 400,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. In some cases, ventilating the garage consumes more energy than lighting the facility.
Enclosed parking garages in North America are subject to ventilation standards established by the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE). The IMC and ASHRAE stipulate garage ventilation systems must run continuously during building occupied hours, unless the facility is using a sensor-based demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) system.
COSTAR 24VC-e manufactured by American Ventilation Control Systems keep buildings CO-free and use exhaust fans only 5-10% of the time. If used in combination with a variable frequency drive COSTAR 24VC-e will allow you to control the speed of your fan. Running a fan at 40% speed saves 90% of the energy. A VFD further controls and soft starts the motor to save additional energy and extend the life of both the motor and bearings, and drastically reduce belt wear and tear. This soft start VFD’s also provide noise reduction. Many exhaust fans are noisy at full speed and may bother tenants or guests. The installation of a VFD can reduce noise by running the fan at reduced speed.
Stricter garage ventilation performance standards have prompted technological innovations whereby our garage demand control ventilation systems can now routinely reduce energy consumption while the garage fans run continuously.
Equally relevant, these advancements ensure the health and safety of those who work in the garage and those who might live or work above it.