If you are an ecologically minded business owner, you may be concerned with the amount of resources your company uses to keep its building cool in summer. While having the building completely retrofitted with modern green technology may not be in the budget, there are steps you can take to lower your environmental footprint while still ensuring the comfort of your employees and customers. The following tips can help.
Install a programmable thermostat
The programmable thermostat is the single best way to improve energy efficiency for a low investment. These thermostats allow you to cool in zones so that areas that don't need to be as cool, such as storage rooms, aren't using as much energy as more populated areas. Further, you can ensure that the AC is only cooling at optimum levels when necessary -- there's no reason to leave the AC turned down when no one is in the building, such as overnight or on weekends. The key is to use a locking thermostat so that only approved staff members can adjust the settings, otherwise office "AC wars" can eliminate any benefits you would otherwise realize by using a programmable thermostat.
Get an annual tune-up
Regular maintenance doesn't just prevent breakdowns; it also ensures your AC is running at peak efficiency. A commercial AC contractor does more than just replacing the filters (a task your maintenance crew should be doing monthly); they also inspect the entire unit to make sure everything is working properly. This may include tuning up the motor and blower so it runs efficiently, recharging the coolant to ensure the unit cools well for the least amount of energy usage and replacing any worn belts or mechanical parts that could be impeding the efficiency of the unit. Plan to have it tuned up at the end of winter before the new cooling season begins.
Minimize air leaks
Air leaks can undermine the efficiency of the most green-rated AC unit on the market. Even older, less-efficient units can be made more efficient by minimizing these leaks. The most common cause of leaks in a business is likely windows and doors being left open. Installing automatic closing doors can prevent some of the issues. For windows, it may be necessary to equip problem windows with alarms so they can only be opened in the event of an emergency. Leaking ductwork can also be an air leak issue. Having your ducts repaired and sealed can decrease energy usage while also maximizing savings.
These steps won't just result in less energy usage; they will also help save you money on both the cost of energy and by prolonging the life of your HVAC unit. This way, when the time does come for replacement, you can have saved funds that will allow you to choose the most energy-efficient commercial AC system for your building.
Get in touch with a commercial air conditioning contractor to learn more.