Why You Need an Air Energy Audit on Your Compressed Air System
Compressed air systems consume a surprising amount of energy. In fact, compressed air systems consume 10 to 15 percent of a company’s total energy bill on average. According to Quincy Compressor, “One horsepower of compressed air requires eight horsepower of electricity. With many air compressors running at efficiencies as low as 10%, there’s often plenty of room for improvement. Fortunately, 50% of compressed air systems at small- to medium-sized industrial facilities have opportunities for low-cost energy conservation”. As you can imagine, optimizing your compressed air system for efficiency can help control the dollar amount listed on your energy bill. The remaining question is how exactly do you identify potential energy savings within your compressed air system?
The answer is a compressed air system energy audit. This specific type of audit helps you identify possible areas for compressed air repairs within your system that could very well improve the efficiency of your system. Even more, audits can identify more ways for improvement that can better air quality and system operation. Read on to find out the many benefits an energy audit could provide to your facility.
Areas for Repair and Improvement
There are many reasons why your compressed air system may be consuming more energy than it needs to. Two very prominent reasons are leaks within your system and improperly sized components. However, there are many other reasons why your compressed air system could be hiking up your energy bill.
An air energy audit will identify areas for repair or improvement that could improve your utility costs. Below are the different potential problems an energy audit can identify:
- System leaks
- Improperly sized piping
- Malfunctioning or incorrect equipment
- Improper compressor configuration or sizing
- Issues with air quality
- Other suggestions for improved efficiency
Many energy providers have funding available to ease the cost of air energy audits. Taking advantage of such funding can help you gain an in-depth view into your system and provide you with the knowledge to improve your compressed air equipment. You will also gain information on the ROI available to you and the potential scenarios for repair versus replacement.
To find out more about rebate programs and tangible audit results companies similar to yours have received, read our blog post on what a compressed air audit can tell you.
Benefits of an Audit
Beyond simply improving the efficiency of your system, there are many benefits to having a compressed air energy audit performed.
- Air audits can improve air quality. For example, did you know that contaminants can enter your compressed air system? As ambient air is drawn into your system, contaminants can hitch a ride also. If the methods used to improve air quality in your system are malfunctioning, an air audit will catch these problems.
- Improved efficiency. It can be ideal to have your compressed air system audited when energy costs associated with it are increasing quickly. Making changes to your system maximizing for energy efficiency can make a drastic impact on your energy costs.
- Catching malfunctions before they become more costly. Just like your car, catching a malfunction or equipment breakdown early can ensure that the repair costs don’t become costly. Air audits can identify problems before they grow into a larger issue.
- Longer System Lifetime. Related to catching repairs sooner rather than later, audits can increase your system’s lifetime by ensuring a smooth operation. Broken or improperly sized parts can place a great strain on your overall system. When problems are left to continue for a large span of time or become a frequent occurrence, your system’s longevity could suffer.
What You Can Expect from Your Compressed Air Audit
A compressed air audit will provide you with many recommendations for your specific compressed air system including potential equipment upgrades, repairs, or sizing improvements that would increase the efficiency of your system. These recommendations will include the related costs and rebate programs available to you through local energy providers such as Focus On Energy and Xcel Energy. (Find out more about Focus On Energy and Xcel Energy’s rebate programs here). A compressed air specialist will walk you through areas of recommendation within your report and answer any questions that you may have.
While there are associated costs with auditing and optimizing your compressed air system, the improved reliability and quality of your equipment makes this investment well worth it. Within a year or less, you are likely to see reduced air compressor maintenance costs and energy consumption.