When the temperature outside is oppressive, keeping employees, customers, and visitors comfortable is a top priority for businesses wanting to increase foot traffic.
Unfortunately, the expenses of cooling an industrial building can be high, putting a strain on company earnings in structures that do not prioritize energy efficiency.
The good news is that, as public awareness of climate change grows, a variety of energy-saving building materials and best practices are becoming available. These best practices not only assist property owners reduce their carbon footprints, but they also help them save money on cooling bills.
We’ve put up a list of 7 ways to cut cooling costs in commercial buildings. The majority, if not all, of these suggestions are geared on increasing air-conditioning efficiency, something both building owners and homeowners are aware of, particularly during the summer.
Installing an Energy-Saving HVAC System
When it comes to lowering cooling costs, the first place to start is with the HVAC system itself. If your commercial system is more than 15 years old, it’s probably time to replace it because it’ll start leaking and degrading to the point that the cost of repairs will be higher than the cost of a new system.
Are you a homeowner who has been considering replacing your furnace? Look for these indicators that it’s time to update your heating system.
When purchasing a new system, be sure it has a high energy efficiency rating and is correctly installed.
It’s also crucial to select the appropriate HVAC system for your building or home. Oversized units will make the building too humid, while undersized units will have to work extra hard to keep the proper temperature.
If you have a newer HVAC system and are satisfied with its size and energy efficiency rating, have it serviced by a professional on a regular basis. All ducts will be sealed, filters will be replaced, and vents will be free of obstructions, according to an HVAC specialist.
Control Air Flow
Custom dampers can be an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and reduce cooling expenses in commercial settings. These devices have an innovative filtration mechanism that controls airflow from one side of the damper to the other using movable blades.
While there are a variety of damper alternatives that may be suitable for your building’s demands, a backdraft damper is generally a great choice for lowering cooling expenses in commercial buildings.
A backdraft damper controls airflow in only one direction, preventing backflow through the unit. This will prevent cool air from returning to the HVAC system, reducing the amount of energy necessary to transport the cold air to its intended location.
Consider Investing in Insulation
The general consensus in the architecture and construction industry is that well-insulated structures can reduce energy output by up to ten percent. In commercial areas, a ten percent savings can add up to a lot of money, especially when compared year to year.
Consider insulated concrete forms (ICF) for your framing if you’re developing or expanding your business space.
There are numerous advantages of ICF construction that are directly related to lower cooling expenses. These benefits include superior air and moisture barriers, as well as maximum thermal capacity, which allows for a consistent internal temperature that is not affected by outside weather patterns.
If your building is already built and/or ICF frame is not an option in your current scenario, you can add polyiso insulation to keep cool air from escaping through the roof.
Polyiso foam panels are one of the most environmentally friendly and frequently utilized roofing materials available. These insulation boards are Quality Mark approved and meet or exceed all industry standards for airflow control and energy efficiency.
Keep Your Windows and Doors Well Shut
A substantial movement of air into and out of your business or house might be caused by small cracks in door and window sealing. As a result, your HVAC system works harder, resulting in lower energy efficiency and higher cooling costs–factors that are amplified in the summer heat.
Drafts from closed windows and doors; obvious gaps around any window or door framing; or insects, dust, and moisture accumulating around your doors or windows are all signs that your structure isn’t properly sealed.
Any of these are likely signs of a leaky structure, which will raise cooling costs, especially in the summer. Consider hiring a professional to do a blower door test to determine how airtight the structure is and whether it is adequately sealed.
Recognize the Orientation of Your Structure
Because the sun provides variable degrees of warmth to different portions of a structure, the direction it faces has a direct impact on the cooling expenditures.
Although trees and other buildings or structures may offer shade for a building, the south side of a building will generally receive more sunlight than the north side. As a result, if your major work and meeting rooms are on the south side of the building, they will be warmer in the winter, but they may become extremely hot in the summer, necessitating additional air conditioning.
Furthermore, rooms with west-facing windows will receive direct sunlight in the evening, which, when combined with the heat generated throughout the day, will scorch in the summer. If you want to keep the AC working as little as possible, avoid rooms that open to the west if you have any after-hours gatherings.
However, sometimes you have to work with the cards you’ve been dealt in terms of construction orientation and can’t build to take advantage of the sun. If this is the case, consider installing awnings, draperies, or blinds to keep the structure appearing professional while giving shade. This form of shading will reduce the need for air conditioning.
Benefit from Renewable Energy Sources
While carbon-based fuels are unlikely to go away completely in the near future, recent advances in alternative energy have made renewable energy more viable for both home and commercial users.
Solar energy is the most prevalent renewable energy source, with photovoltaic (PV) cells installed on the roof of a building to catch sunlight and convert it to electricity. The advantages of solar panels outweigh the disadvantages. PV panels are becoming more fashionable and less onerous as technology advances and more people utilize them. They are a fantastic way to cut cooling costs because they use a natural energy source rather than non-renewable energy sources.
Close the Blinds and Curtains at the Appropriate Time
When there is direct sunshine pouring through, close curtains and shades to assist control energy efficiency and cut cooling expenses. This will help to prevent unwanted solar gain and increase home or office comfort. If your building lacks curtains or blinds, ensure that they are put at all windows. While they are closed at night, the setting sun will not warm your building when it is not in use.
Commercial property managers are concerned about keeping tenants and visitors comfortable in hot weather. However, because HVAC prices for such huge rooms may add up quickly, every effort should be made to identify ways to cut cooling costs. Commercial buildings can keep expenditures under control by utilizing any combination of the seven methods described above. (Most of the following ideas are also applicable to residences.)