Your commercial air conditioning is just about the most valuable thing in your commercial building, and also the most energy-intensive thing that you use. Commercial air conditioning accounts for about 15% of all the electricity that the average commercial building will use, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that as much is 30% of that energy and cost is actually lost in waste. So while it’s true that newer air conditioners are capable of using 50% less energy than even those that were available in 1990, it’s still critically important to engage in effective waste reducing practices and properly maintain a commercial air conditioning system. Here are a few tips on how to save energy on your HVAC system.
- Install programmable thermostats and save hundreds of dollars every year. Temperatures within a business environment can often be a source of contention among workers. Workforces are diverse in age, culture, personal preference, and gender: all of which go into determining what temperature any individual finds most comfortable. A programmable thermostat helps everyone in the workspace to feel more at ease with the chosen temperature, because the decision has not been made by a colleague. A programmable thermostat can also be automatically set to run at higher or lower temperatures whenever a space is not in use, and this alone can save a lot of money in the course of a single year. It’s also possible to program special weekend hours in for those businesses that run five days a week, while still keeping things comfortable for other businesses who may be working seven days a week. A commercial electrician can help you find the programmable thermostat that is best for your business needs.
- You can reduce wasted energy levels by as much as 10% just by changing system filters. The filter change is one of the simplest forms of commercial air conditioning maintenance, and yet it is frequently neglected. When a filter becomes dirty, airflow is restricted and the HVAC system becomes more expensive to run. The indoor air quality also drops and in the air conditioning system is more likely to break down or need maintenance. Filters on your commercial air conditioning system should be checked every month and switched out whenever they are dirty. Even if they don’t appear completely full, they should still be changed out at least every three months. This can reduce energy costs by an enormous amount, and getting an HVAC technician to perform regular checkups on the filters takes the stress of remembering this chore away from you.
- Seal your heating and cooling ducts for a 20% efficiency bump. Again, nearly 30% of energy use in a commercial building is wasted, and nothing wastes the energy faster then ducts that are not properly sealed. The fastest and simplest way to make sure all your ducts are in good shape is to find a commercial air conditioning expert to come and check each one and then seal it properly.
- Improve efficiency with regular maintenance. It’s incredible how many people neglect basic HVAC maintenance both on commercial air conditioning systems and residential HVAC systems. To keep your system running efficiently, you need to get maintenance at least twice a year. Keeping up with the regular maintenance schedule can improve efficiency by 40% and is absolutely crucial for getting top performance out of the system. Find a qualified and capable technician with the knowledge and expertise to maintain your system at peak efficiency.
- If you have an older system, consider an upgrade. HVAC systems have come a long way in recent years, and if your commercial air conditioning is 10 years old or older, you can improve your efficiency by up to 20% just with an upgrade to one of the newest ENERGY STAR-certified units. It may be necessary to retrofit an existing unit or the ductwork, but the investment will be well worth the savings over time.
- A bit of maintenance, some common sense upgrades, and a few small changes can keep your commercial air conditioning system running efficiently for years to come.