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Ways to Save Energy and Water


Get Cash Back for Cooling Upgrades

Several programs offer cash incentives for upgrading your central or non-central cooling system. Ask a NYC Retrofit Accelerator Efficiency Advisor for details.

The energy used for cooling accounts for almost 10 percent of the energy use from a typical large building in New York City. There are many options for improving cooling efficiency.

Central Cooling Systems

Central cooling systems include central chilled water systems—which consist of chillers, cooling towers, and other equipment—or base-building condenser water loops that serve the entire building. If you have one of these cooling systems in your building, you can:

  • Upgrade the chiller to a higher efficiency model.
  • Optimize temperature sensors and controls for the chiller plant.
  • Install a building management system (BMS) to better control temperatures based on sensor feedback from multiple occupant spaces.
  • Monitor and calibrate supplemental cooling equipment, which are typically found in resident spaces.
  • Install variable frequency drives on motors and pumps that distribute conditioned air and/or chilled water throughout the building.

Additional measures can improve the cooling system as a whole. You can:

  • Install insulation on pipes and ducts to reduce heat loss.
  • Seal loose connections in ductwork to prevent air leaks.
  • Ensure air filters are properly installed and free of debris to improve efficiency.

Non-Central Cooling Systems

Non-central cooling systems provide cooling to individual rooms or specific zones of a building. These systems include packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs), window air conditioners, through-wall air conditioners, and air-cooled packaged units. In New York City buildings, non-central cooling systems are more common than central cooling systems. To improve the efficiency of these systems, you can:

  • Replace old air conditioning units with newer, more efficient models.
  • Install smart controls on air conditioners to automate temperature settings.
  • Install unit covers or insulation on room air conditioning units.
  • Install an air source heat pump to replace a packaged rooftop air conditioner unit.

To make the most of cooling system upgrades, improve the building envelope by adding insulation or sealing air leaks to help keep cool air inside.

Cooling System Resources

Ready to Start Saving on Cooling?

Contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator team today.