Once you have the system tuned and operating as you intend, monitor performance. It costs very little to track airflow and pressure at critical points in a system. Track power consumed by the fan, comparing power draw (kw) and power use (kwh) to cooling and heating demand, and to average peak and minimum flow rates. Expose actual performance over time to someone who is intimate with the design expectations.

When performance degrades, find the problem, and see that it is corrected. This is easier than you think, but that’s the point. You have to think about and implement this capability into your design.

  • You need the means to record and convey history of operations, conditions, and efficiencies.
  • You need the means to document preventive maintenance.
  • The designer must never forget that the primary purpose of HVAC is comfort for building occupants. Fortunately, comfort and saving energy go hand in hand with high performance air systems.

These design guidelines for HPAS are just an overview. For more information about high performance air systems, visit www.amca.org/feg/hpas.aspx.


Ivanovich, M. (February, 2014), 14 tips for reducing wasted fan-system energy, HPAC Engineering, pp 6-7, 21.

Smith, W. (Fall, 2013), The “New, most efficient thing” in commercial HVAC systems. AMCA inmotion.

ASHRAE (2011) Energy design guide for small to medium office buildings—Achieving 50% energy savings toward a net zero energy building, Atlanta ASHRAE. Also available at https://buildingdata.energy.gov/cbrd/resource/1174.

Kurt Herzog is president and CEO of Acutherm LLC, a position he’s held for 12 years. The 36-year-old manufacturing company is located in Hayward CA. Acutherm has 87 representative companies around the world. Mr. Herzog is the vice-chair of the AMCA International High Performance Air Systems Task Force.