Lowering the energy consumption (and therefore the cost) of your commercial AC this summer may not be easy, but it can be done with a bit of commitment and a few simple hacks.
Following our tips in this article will have a significant impact on your budget, and reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
Internal climate control is crucial for any business in ensuring the comfort of their customers and staff – especially through the heat of the summer. In fact, maintaining an optimal internal climate is one of the big factors that determine employee wellness and productivity. Unfortunately, in the extreme seasons, doing this in a cost effective way can be difficult. Just as you need to make sure your HVAC is running efficiently during winter, so must you put some time into optimizing your AC unit during summer.
Air conditioning systems are in full throttle during the summer months. Depending on your geographical location (like where we are in Kansas), the electrical consumption of your AC can fluctuate and even spike during this season. In fact, in 2018 alone, air conditioners accounted for around one fifth of the total electrical consumption of buildings around the world.
The cost of staying cool is a pricey energy bill, but even if your business is located in an area that experiences heat waves during the summer season, there are still some steps you can take to reduce your commercial AC costs without compromising on comfort.
The following tips can be used whether you have a centralized AC system or several box type AC units in your building and will help you to ensure that your AC is both economical and environmentally friendly.
When the temperature outside is high and the air humid, you might be tempted to lower the thermostat of your AC down to winter-like temperatures. However, this isn’t advisable because it will force the motors in your AC system to work very hard, which could lead them to overheat.
Although our normal body temperature is around 98°F, replicating this in the environment would be far too hot. To stay comfortable, you actually only need to maintain a temperature of around 71°F. Maintaining an optimal level of temperature is a win-win solution in reducing the cost of your AC as you’ll still be comfortable without overworking your unit.
Modern air conditioning units are usually very efficient anyway, but you can reduce the cost of them even further by switching off the AC in your establishment two hours before closing time. The ambient temperature will not radically increase or decrease during this time, but the effects it will have on your AC’s energy consumption will make a big difference to your bills.
Old air conditioning systems rely on motors powered by alternating currents that usually fluctuate in voltage. This simply isn’t an efficient setup. Replace any old AC in favor of units that have power inverters. The compressor motors of these units are powered by a direct current, which is stable and has a lower power rating.
Power surges can damage your AC and can also add extra cost to your energy bills. AC units tend to surge when you turn them on because the process requires a lot of electricity, though there are several factors that can cause power surges in air conditioners. Luckily, you can prevent this from happening by using power surge regulators that you can be attached to your AC system.
Power is usually wasted in an AC unit if the air filter is dirty. This is because the compressor has to work harder to pump hot air out. Cleaning the air filter is a simple solution that can maintain the efficiency of your commercial air conditioning system.
We know it’s tempting, but neglecting to close doors or windows during summer will result in a surge of heat from outside. This means that your AC will have to work extra hard to compensate. To remove temptation, consider installing door closers, either the simple spring-loaded kind or the motorized ones. Every second counts, so as a rule of thumb, don’t open the doors or windows for more than ten seconds if you want your AC system to run efficiently.
Many businesses decide against the use of curtains because they want to allow natural light into the shop or store. But how do you do this without facilitating a tropical greenhouse effect? Using anti-infrared and anti-ultraviolet tints for your glass doors and windows is a great solution because it allows you to maximize daylight time whilst also maintaining a comfortable temperature indoors.
Another way you can maintain a comfortable internal climate for your business establishment is by using heat insulators for your walls, ceilings, and floors, and sealants for your windows. This may sound counterintuitive, but heat insulators in summer actually work by preventing heat from entering, thus helping to regulate the internal temperature so that your AC doesn’t have to work as hard.
Light colors reflect heat more effectively than dark colors, which absorb them. Taking the initiative to repaint your space in light colors will minimize heat transfer from the outside – and it looks great, too!
If you have an older AC system, you must make sure it’s properly maintained so it can run as efficiently as possible. If you’re unable to upgrade your unit, hire an AC technician to do some general maintenance and repair work on your AC. This will optimize its performance and save you money in the long run.
If you’re in the Kansas City metro area and would like to chat about your commercial HVAC system, contact us today for your customized quote.