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Don’t be misled by our NY Engineers is the top choice if you need a Full Service Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineering Firm in Chicago Illinois. We are not only an HVAC Chicago but also a leading provider of Electrical Engineering Engineering services in or near Markham. Contact us at (312) 767-6877

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Lately huge crowds have been stopping by our website in search of Electrical Engineering in the Chicago area. That is due because of the following we have develop in this types of projects. Nevertheless, a lot of general contractors from Hickory Hills to Northbrook, do not know that NY Engineers is also the ideal choice for anyone looking for HVAC Chicago, IL.

The pursuit of cost effective buildings involves power efficient HVAC system design. This will likely include systems for architectural enclosure, domestic water heating, lighting, HVAC, and vertical transportation. The loads for the HVAC systems can come primarily from five different places including lighting (cooling), the building envelope (cooling and heating), ventilation (cooling and heating), equipment for program use (cooling) and occupancy (cooling).
The ventilation load will be a purpose of either the machines required to be able to introduce it in to a space and control contaminant concentration or the quantity of persons which will be in the area. In nearly all climates within the southwestern and eastern areas of the united states, to reduce outter air movement helps you to save energy whenever the exterior air is either humid and warm or very cold.
Controlling the ventilation rate will probably be determined by occupancy which is called a kind of demand control ventilation. This really is a common type of energy conservation policy that is utilized for spaces with intermittent or dense occupancy. Having cooling and heating loads dropped as low as possible can be achieved through the use of a high performance building envelope, occupancy sensors, and high performance lighting that apply daylight response of lighting controls.

Chicago HVAC Engineering services versus HVAC Technicians

If you’ve ever considered the distinction between a HVAC Technician vs HVAC Engineers, then please read on:

HVAC engineers would be the folks that oversee the installation of air cooling systems both for commercial and residential buildings. They spend lots of their time in offices doing advanced level supervision and arranging of installations but they do also stop by job sites every once in awhile.

But, HVAC technicians have a tendency to do a lot of hands-on work  that deals with maintenance and repair. A HVAC tech may work together with an engineer to complete some of the installation task, specifically for smaller jobs. Generally HVAC technicians do considerably more travel and may spend considerable time identifying leaks, changing filters, doing recharges or getting rid of old and outdated systems that use old refrigerants.

HVAC engineers might have the ability to make more decisions about systems that are employed, plus they would be the folks that would offer assistance with one of the most sensible refrigerants and which systems would best suit a larger building. In the trade, there is some challenge between ‘the suits’ and ‘the ones that get their hands dirty’, but the two jobs require a good expertise in how air-con does work. Nowadays many Internet users have been crawling the NY Engineers website searching for things like HVAC Chicago NYE. Nevertheless, the focus of our company is to be the number one choice for anyone looking for a HVAC Chicago and or any of our other services including Sprinkler Design Engineering services. We ask that those searching for more details about our Air Conditioning, Heating & Cooling (HVAC) Engineering Firm in Chicago Illinois checks out at our blog.

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How Mechanical Engineers Compare Operating Expenses of Different Water Heater Models

Mechanical Engineering Information

One of the key characteristics to consider when deciding between several water heater options is the operating cost; the heater with the lowest price tag is not necessarily the least expensive to own in the long term. Operating cost is determined in great part by equipment efficiency, but there are other equally important factors that mechanical engineers want you to consider:

  • Energy sources have different unit prices. In the case of heating systems, the input is generally electricity, natural gas, propane or fuel oil. There are also zero-cost energy sources, such as geothermal energy and sunlight.
  • Operating schedules may vary depending on the type of heater. Rated power is not the only factor that determines total energy consumption; the operating schedule must also be considered. For example, tankless water heaters have a high rated power but operate in short bursts, saving energy compared to a storage heater that draws less power but operates continuously, assuming the energy source is the same.

This article will provide a guide for calculating and comparing operating expenses with different types of heaters. After these values are calculated, they can be weighed against the upfront cost of each heating system to find the most cost-effective option.

As with any investment in equipment, considering the total ownership cost is very important when purchasing a heater: to calculate the real heating cost per BTU or kWh produced, it is necessary to factor in the initial investment and any maintenance or reparation expenses. For instance, saying that solar heating is free would not be completely true; although the energy input is free, there are equipment and installation costs, and in multistory buildings a small pump may be required for water to reach the rooftop.

Energy Factor: How Mechanical Engineers Calculate Heating Expenses

The energy factor (EF) is the ratio of heating output to energy input offered by a heating system. It considers how effectively the heater converts its energy input into an increase in water temperature, but also accounts for other aspects of heater operation:

  • Standby losses – These losses are found in storage heaters, and they represent the heat loss associated with keeping the water in the tank at the desired temperature. Although proper insulation mitigates standby losses, they are impossible to eliminate completely.
  • Cycling losses – These losses occur as water circulates through the heater’s internal piping, and through the storage tank if present.

Heaters running on fossil fuels have energy factors well below unity, electric tankless heaters operate close an EF of 1, and heat pumps have EF values higher than unity because their inverse refrigeration cycle allows them to draw heat from the surrounding environment.

Comparing Water Heaters: An Example

Assume you are presented with four water heaters for a household that consumes 80 million BTU per year, and want to calculate the operating costs associated with each alternative:

  • A gas-fired storage heater with an EF of 0.55
  • A tankless electric heater with an EF of 0.97
  • A tankless gas heater with an EF of 0.80
  • An electric air-source heat pump with an EF of 2.5

Since the example is for one city, assume the cost of natural gas is $1.20 per 100,000 BTU, and the electricity rate is $0.18 per kilowatt-hour.

  • For the gas heaters, the calculation procedure can be carried out directly because the heating output and energy input are both in BTU.
  • The tankless electric heater and heat pump run with electricity, so the heating output must be converted to kWh before proceeding.
  • Heating Output (kWh)=80,000,000 BTU x 1kWh/3412.14 BTU= 23,446 kWh

Other than this, the calculation procedure is the same for all four heaters. The yearly heating output is divided by the energy factor (EF) to calculate yearly energy consumption, and this value is then multiplied by the unit price of energy, per kWh or BTU. This formula is applied by mechanical engineers to all four water heaters, to determine which is the least expensive to operate.

Gas-fired storage heater operating cost:
Operating Cost (USD/yr)=80,000,000 BTU/.55×1.20 USD/100,000 BTU=1745 USD

Tankless electric heater operating cost:
Operating Cost (USD/yr)=23,446 kWh/.97X.18 USD/kWh=4351 USD

Tankless gas heater operating cost:
Operating Cost (USD/yr)=80,000,000 BTU/.8 X 1.20 USD/100,000 BTU=1200 USD

Electric air-source heat pump operating cost:
Operating Cost (USD/yr)=23,446 kWh/2.5 X .18 USD/kWh=1688 USD

Operating Cost Comparison

In this case, the tankless gas heater has the lowest operating cost. The heat pump and gas-fired storage heater follow, although the heat pump wins by a slight margin. The tankless electric heater is the most expensive to operate by far.

Total Cost of Owning and Operating Heaters

For a full evaluation, the upfront cost and service life must be considered as well. For this example, assume the following cost and rated life values:

HeaterInstalled CostService life
Heat Pump$180015
Tankless electric heater$150020
Tankless gas heater$200020
Gas-fired storage heater$120010

For simplicity, the analysis will be limited to upfront and operation costs. The yearly ownership cost of each heater option would be:

  • Heat Pump Cost = $1688/year + ($1800/15 years) = $1808/year
  • Tankless Electric Heater = $4351/year + ($1500/20 years) = $4426/year
  • Tankless Gas Heater = $1200/year + ($2000/20 years) = $1300/year
  • Gas-Fired Storage Heater = $1745/year + ($1200/10 years) = $1865/year

The tankless gas heater is still the winner in this case, despite its higher upfront cost. The heat pump and gas-fired storage heater have a similar cost of ownership, and the tankless electric heater is very expensive to operate due to the high electricity rates of some cities. However, keep in mind this is just an example, and different results may be obtained for different locations.

Concluding Remarks

To determine which type of heater is the best match for your property, getting a professional assessment from one or more mechanical engineers is highly recommended. For example, if you don’t have a chimney, the installation cost of any gas heater will increase significantly. Remember that electricity and gas prices also vary by location, and what is true in one location may not always apply in another city or state.

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