If you own a business, you probably want to take steps to minimize its negative impact on the planet and promote sustainability. You probably also want to keep costs down, especially when it comes to services like air conditioning and heating. Did you know that you can actually accomplish both goals at the same time? Here are some commercial HVAC tips that will save you money and also promote sustainability.
1. Keep extra filters on hand.
Just as in your home, regularly changing the filter in your commercial HVAC system can reduce your energy bills. Filters become clogged with dirt as they are used, and once a filter is clogged, the HVAC fan has to work harder to push air through it. Your system will also accumulate dirt once the filter is clogged, and it takes more energy to exchange heat across a dusty, dirty system. Your goal is to keep energy consumption low to minimize your costs and reduce your use of fossil fuels!
The trouble with changing an HVAC filter in a business is that nobody ever seems to remember to do it. Going out to buy a new filter takes time, even though switching the filter itself only takes a few minutes. Set yourself up for success by buying a whole year's worth of filters at once. Then, changing the filter every 2 to 3 months won't be such an inconvenience.
2. Have your ducts sealed.
When buildings are built, the ductwork is often put in quickly so that contractors can move ahead with assembling the walls. As such, commercial ductwork tends to be poorly sealed. Air may leak out from between segments of the ducts rather than making it all of the way to the vents. These leaks drive up your HVAC costs and energy consumption.
Consider hiring an HVAC company to come and seal your ducts. If they cannot access certain portions of the ducts without taking down walls, they can use a solution called blown-in sealer, which they will blow into the ducts and allow to settle in the gaps. You should notice that your building feels more comfortable and evenly heated/cooled after this service is performed.
3. Turn the temperature up in the summer.
You may turn the thermostat down in an attempt to keep your employees comfortable, but there is a good chance you're actually over-cooling the space during the summer. Research has shown that chilly office temperatures are bad for productivity. People make fewer errors and work most effectively when a space is 77 degrees. If your space is cooler than this, turn the thermostat up to 77, and reap the benefits. Not only will you save money on cooling costs, but you'll save more based on the fact that your employees get more work done in less time.
4. Replace your aging HVAC system before it quits.
You might think the most cost-effective approach would be to run your current AC unit and furnace until they die. But aging systems cost you a lot of money in repairs, and they often operate very inefficiently, which means high energy consumption -- which is not good for your bottom line or for the planet. If your HVAC equipment is showing signs of wear, such as frequent breakdowns or high bills, reach out to your HVAC contractor for an estimate for a new system. It will soon pay for itself in the form of energy savings.
It is completely possible to run an eco-friendly business without breaking the bank. Focus on the commercial air conditioning tips above to get off to a good start.