Why Should You Install VFD?

Managing a building or facility in today’s highly competitive market requires you to fulfill multiple goals simultaneously such as ensuring everything operates smoothly, enhancing occupants’ comfort level, being environmentally responsible as well as reducing operational costs. Since the HVAC system is an important component of a building system as well as a major energy consumer, certain additions or modifications can make it more efficient and also bring down energy costs. Once such addition is installing VFD or variable frequency drive on your HVAC unit. In this article we take a look at what exactly are VFDs and how they work better together with your commercial HVAC system.

What is VFD or Variable Frequency Drive?

Usually, HVAC systems are set up to function at a constant speed irrespective of the demands. However, in practice, the actual building load demand on HVAC systems constantly fluctuates. A VFD also known as AFD – adjustable frequency drive – allows such systems to adjust the speed at which the motor runs and is dependent on how much power the mechanical systems require to fulfill the demand of the building which is also referred to as the “load” of the system.  By changing the speed, the motor can meet the building load demand without spending extra energy and reducing energy costs.

Most of the time, HVAC systems only need to work at peak load 1 to 10 percent of the operational time- which means a VFD is able to reduce the amount of energy wasted during more than 90 percent of the operational time. With the installation of VFD on the HVAC system, you can see energy savings by more than 50%. With that being said, here are some of the top reasons why you should install VFD on HVAC system:

Energy savings – VFDs produce significant energy savings. This is because motor energy consumption is a function of speed and the most common motor in HVAC systems is the induction motor. For induction motors, the power used by the motor differs with the cube of the motor’s speed. This means that if the motor can be reduced by 25 percent of its regular operating speed, its energy use can be lowered by almost 60 percent and with a 50 percent decrease in speed, energy use can be reduced by almost 90 percent which translates into significant energy savings and reduced energy bills.

Lower demand charges- Another benefit of installing VFD on HVAC is that since it reduces energy use of the building system during its peak demand period, it will also mean reduced demand charges. This will also reflect on reduced electricity bills.

Increased lifespan of the system – A VFD allows the motor to start softly rather than all at once unlike regular motors which means less energy is spent to start the motor. This ultimately reduces wear and tear on the motor, thereby increasing the lifespan of the system.

Less repair costs- Again, due to the soft start and reduced wear and tear on the motor, less frequent repairs are needed, reducing repair costs. In addition, it also lowers chances of motor failures. 

More precise control over flow rates – Another advantage of using VFD is that it gives exact control over a range of flow rates. For example, the flow rate generated by pumps in building HVAC systems can be adjusted to the building load through the use of a VFD. This reduces load on motor, wear and tear on pump, as well as energy use. 

In addition, VFDs can also be used in other applications such as hot and cold water systems to maintain a constant pressure irrespective of demand levels. This also helps in preventing water leaks or pipes bursting due to high pressure.

Maximize efficiency – Most HVAC systems are designed to handle extra loads such as new parts or a greater number of people. With VFD, you can get a more exact assessment of motor load and speed which ensures optimum efficiency of the system.

Deliver diagnostic data– With VFD, you can get constant updates on how the HVAC system is functioning. As a result, you can track and monitor any defect early on before it becomes a major problem and prevent costly repairs. 


A VFD is a diverse and hugely beneficial energy management tool that has a wide range of applications. Today’s VFD can be installed on any commercial or institutional HVAC system and can offer significant energy savings of from 35% to 50% and result in a return on investment of six months to two years. A-TECH Engineering Ltd. – a leading HVAC controls contractor in Toronto can help you with setting up VFDs, upgrading HVAC controls, efficient coil cleaning and more for improved efficiency and maximum energy savings. Connect with us today!


AI in Building Automation and HVAC Systems

Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the years and has surely revolutionized many industries. The building system is also not so far behind that is set to see an all-new transformation. Whether it is residential or commercial or facility, modern buildings have undergone massive transformation in more than just appearance. They are no longer simply boxes with roofs and walls. Today’s buildings are intuitive, reactive, and preemptive in nature not only to external stimuli but also to internal stimuli, thanks to building innovation technologies. According to a study, smart building technology had been expected to reach 36 billion USD by 2020. In this article, we take a look at what AI or Artificial Intelligence is and how it is reshaping building automation and HVAC systems and creating smarter buildings for tomorrow.

AI and smart buildings

“Intelligence is not skill itself, it’s not what you can do, it’s how well and how efficiently you can learn new things.”- Francois Chollet, AI researcher at Google.

AI or Artificial Intelligence refers to creating intelligent machines, computers or programs that are capable of self-learning, adapting, and improvising in a new environment while applying that knowledge for various tasks and functions in an unfamiliar scenario without human intervention. 

AI and buildings are a match made in heaven that has enabled streamlining, optimizing, and revolutionizing the functionality of buildings, thus resulting in smarter buildings for the future.

Before, we already had a prevalence of technologies that added to building functionality and provided better experience to occupants such as CCTV system, fire alarms, smoke detectors and so on. However, today, the building technology industry has grown exponentially and includes a plethora of systems and sensors such as temperature, humidity, co2 monitoring and so on. These are able to store a wide range of data, perform a myriad of tasks that not only add to the occupant experience and comfort but also benefit various stakeholders such as facility managers, property managers. These results in ensuring that the buildings are running efficiently without any hiccup and provides maximum energy savings.

 With the triple power of AI, IoT and building systems, the future buildings are set to be smarter and a lot more intelligent than ever.

AI in Building Automation

With the aid of incredibly advanced IoT solutions, massive volumes of insightful data are continuously collected from every system of a building. This data gathered provides a great resource and has the potential to help facility managers or building owners with meaningful, actionable insights in making better informed decisions to improve efficiency, reduce carbon emission, improve occupant comfort as well maximize energy savings by 25-35%. As such, AI plays a significant role in transforming the raw data into actionable insights without any human intervention at all. Without this powerful AI technology, the data gathered is rendered meaningless or at least will require a host of other resources, making the entire process costly and cumbersome. 

However, with AI, building managers can make sure operational efficiency is much higher, utilize resources reliably, and improve the overall comfort level of occupants. 

AI in HVAC system

The HVAC system is without any doubt an important component of any building system and also known to be one of the major energy consumers, sometimes accounting for about more than 50% of the building’s energy use. As a result, it makes sense to integrate AI into HVAC systems making them more efficient, intuitive as well as environment friendly. Although AI technology has been largely employed in smart buildings as well as other industries, its involvement in the HVAC system has been fairly less. In addition, HVAC system use depends largely on external environment factors like temperature, weather and season. However, it is generally built for a stable or static environment which not only disrupts the performance of HVAC systems but also overtime reduces their efficiency and increases energy bills despite having regular service and maintenance.

Now with the addition of AI in HVAC system, such as Brainbox AI, makes the HVAC system from reactive to preemptive in nature, relying on a combination of deep learning, cloud-based computing, and a process that enable a continuously self-operating system without any human involvement and provides maximum system efficiency as well as significant energy savings. With the power of AI, facility managers, property owners can also leverage data from various point sources and utilize those data to make better informed decisions seamlessly.

The world is changing exponentially nowadays with the advancement of technology and modern facilities and building managers are increasingly becoming aware of not only providing exceptional value to occupant experience but also using resources in a smart and reliable way, and this is only possible with the integration of AI and IoT into building automation and control systems. 

A-TECH Engineering Ltd.- a leading building automation and HVAC controls provider based in Toronto – offers IoT-enabled building automation as well Brainbox AI reselling services to ensure not only optimum efficiency but also a seamless and hassle-free user experience that requires the least human intervention. Connect with an A-TECH team member today and find out how we can take your building automation to the next level of efficiency, energy savings and occupant comfort.