Every month, a business owner is reminded of how efficient their HVAC is operating within the building; it comes in the form of a utility bill.
And while many just accept it and move on, there are many things an owner can do to make their monthly costs even more efficient.
The US Small Business Administration estimates that as much as 40 percent of the electricity used each month in a typical commercial building is for heating and cooling. Yet no matter how much you are spending every single month, the real difference between efficiency and inefficiency comes from having the right information, and using it to cut down heating and cooling costs whenever possible.
The best tip for any commercial building’s management looking to cut costs can be boiled down to one task: reducing the workload of the HVAC system. You can do that in several ways.
Start by improving a building’s insulation
All commercial buildings are insulated; building codes make it mandatory to insulate up to a certain level. Unfortunately, because most buildings are put up under strict guidance to budgets, they are usually put up with only the minimal amount of insulation. And because the company putting up the building is rarely the one managing or owning it, the two have distinctly different viewpoints on budgets. Higher insulation means better efficiencies. Whenever possible, you can increase the level of insulation and have it make immediate differences in the overall comfort level of the building’s occupants. Common measures include installing energy efficient windows and lighting systems, and redoing the roof to minimize the solar impact on the building itself.
Upgrade the air conditioner
In most cases, it is more costly to keep a building cool than it is to keep it warm. Which means the first place to upgrade and make more efficient is with the air conditioning system. Today’s technology improves cooling systems greatly; even changes from one year to the next can have a big impact. Studies show that an air conditioning system today can improve efficiencies by as much as 20 percent from one built ten years ago, and as much as 100 percent as one build in the 1970s.
Consider using energy recovery ventilators
An energy recovery ventilator is a mechanical ventilation system designed to produce energy savings. They recycle energy from the building’s exhaust air, then pretreat the outside air before it enters the building. This preconditioned outside air reduces the load of the HVAC unit, and therefore reduces the required capacity of the equipment itself. In most cases, payback on an energy recovery ventilator can occur within the first three years.
Of course, how each business can fully optimize their heating and cooling system, and reduce costs for maximum efficiencies is always determined on a case by case basis. If you would like a full analysis of the effectiveness of your HVAC system, and find out how you can make little changes to save the most, give us a call today.