As a business or property owner, you're always on the hunt for efficiencies. Whether for your internal work flow, logistics, or building, efficiencies can help you find more money to take your enterprise to the next level.
Your commercial building's HVAC systems can represent a large percentage of your energy costs, so finding efficiencies is key to not only a healthy work environment for your tenants and employees, but your building's bottom line. If you suspect your building is not running efficiently, we've compiled a list of simple commercial HVAC efficiency tips to improve your building's performance.
The saying "big things have small beginnings" rings true for your commercial HVAC, too. Efficiencies can be found in making small adjustments to the day-to-day happenings on your premises, and these small changes may help you find surprise savings like finding money under your sofa cushions.
No, we don't mean closing down your building for good. Rather, like an envelope, make sure to seal your building properly. Unless your commercial building was recently built or retrofitted, chances are, there may be air leaks that let in hot or cold air. These leaks mean your HVAC is working overtime to regulate the building, costing you up to 37% in extra energy costs.
Places to check include uninsulated ducts, pipes, outlets, and areas around the roof. If you suspect a leak but aren't 100% certain of its location, consider using thermal imaging cameras to find their exact location.
It may be tempting to close vents to low-traffic spaces such as closets, stock rooms, or other unoccupied spaces. Unfortunately, this may cause temperature changes which your HVAC will attempt to neutralize by working harder. This can result in additional energy usage by up to 25% for your commercial HVAC.
Furthermore, ensure that vents are not being blocked. As commercial spaces evolve, things like furniture or files can pile up in unused spaces and inadvertently block vents. Check vents not only inside your building, but outside as well. Debris like leaves or built-up dirt may be blocking your vents, reducing your commercial building's HVAC efficiency.
Energy-efficient commercial HVAC systems use air filters to not only keep dust and airborne particles at bay, but also protect your equipment from debris. Clean air filters act like a sieve, catching this debris from travelling any further. When dirt is allowed to build-up on your filters, it can impede regular airflow which, in turn, overworks your building's HVAC systems. Blocked air filters mean your system uses more power, and runs longer to make up for the deficiency. Clogged filters may also allow debris to collect on equipment parts resulting in a slower unit and poor efficiency.
Regular air filter changes should be performed anywhere between 1-3 months and is one of the simplest, most sustainable ways to improve your HVAC energy efficiency by 5-10%.
You wouldn't leave your TV on while you took a weeklong vacation, so leaving low-use electronics plugged in or powered on can waste a noticeable amount of energy. In commercial buildings, electronics of this calibre may include media systems in waiting areas, computers, or exercise equipment. Dormant electronics can not only drain energy, but also release latent heat which your system will have to work harder in neutralizing.
Efficiency starts with education. Just as you're learning about how to find HVAC energy efficiency improvements, those using your building should be made aware of their energy use. Because you can't be on-site every day of the week, every hour of the day, it's important to empower your employees and tenants with energy-efficiency knowledge which they can then use not just on the premises, but even their own homes, too.
If there's still room for improvement with your commercial HVAC system's efficiency, the Ambient Mechanical team can provide a diagnostic of your building and its systems, pinpointing areas of improvement. Contact us today to book a free consultation!
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