Commercial AC Savings Alternatives Compared

We all know that installing and running an air conditioner can be expensive, especially during warm seasons when you have to keep the equipment running all day long during business hours. It hurts even more when you have to keep a very large room cool using multiple AC units, especially if you have a business which needs to be kept constantly cool year-round like a mall, grocery store, or restaurant.

To give you an idea of how much electricity your AC consumes in an hour, consider this example: a typical 2 Horsepower window AC unit consumes around 1900 watts of electricity. If your utility provider charges 10 cents per kilowatt hour, it would cost about 19 cents per hour. That’s $4.56 in 24 hours and $136.80 per month, multiplied by the number of AC units you have in your establishment. That’s the cost for air conditioning alone; what about other electric appliances like lights, computers, refrigerators, and everything else you have plugged in? It can be a scary thing to think about, especially if you are on a tight budget or you are just starting your business.

This is why here at Energy Efficiency Pros , we have come up with some ideas that you can try in order to reduce electricity usage while using your cooling system. These suggestions aren’t just great for your wallet however, they are great for the environment too!

Solar and Geothermal Air Conditioning

Believe it or not, solar-powered air conditioners are not just a dream anymore. Solar panels using thermal technology is becoming  more mainstream, as technology improves with time and research. If your business wants to be on the ‘greener’ side of air cooling technology, then this is the right choice for you. There are three ways that the sun energy is used by the AC unit: through solar thermal energy conversion, passive solar, and photovoltaic conversion.

Solar Thermal Panel Technology

SunTrac Solar has developed groundbreaking technology that has changed the way solar thermal energy is harvested and implemented. The patented computer controlled parabolic concentrator produces more energy than any other panel of the same size.

This groundbreaking technology has solved two major issues with solar thermal panels; degradation and stagnation. Current solar thermal panels cannot regulate the amount of heat being added to a working fluid or gas. When systems are not in use they can cause extreme heat buildup and even damage the coatings of an evacuated tube panel. When integrated with HVAC equipment this could cause severe damage to the refrigerant which may cause the compressor to fail.

The SunTrac Solar SmartPanel™ has solved this problem by controlling the heat that the solar thermal panels generate. The patented panel design utilizes RiteTemp™ technology which modulates the temperature of the liquid or gas as it exits the panel.

Passive solar cooling

Passive solar cooling slows down the rate of heat transferred into a building during times of intense heat. This can be done by installing a radiant barrier (a green roof) on the building. This type of installation will reduce the need for air conditioning power by stopping the problem (the influx of heat) at its source.

Photovoltaic (PV) panels

Photovoltaic (PV) panels are only recommended for small commercial spaces because its cost effectiveness depends largely on the cooling equipment. The flip side is that it could only cost you 15 cents per kilowatt hour – with much less carbon footprint. For a good quality solar panel, we recommend the SunTrac SmartPanel™ for maximum output and lesser power consumption.

Geothermal cooling

Geothermal cooling takes advantage of the temperature below the Earth’s surface to eliminate or at least reduce the use of air conditioning. Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat from the building back into the ground, using the moderate temperature of the earth below the surface as a heat sink, to boost the efficiency and reduce operational costs of cooling systems. A PV-powered fan or a solar chimney can also be used in conjunction with a geothermal pump to exhaust unwanted heat and draw cool air inside the building. The initial construction can be costly, but in the long run, geothermal cooling could save you a lot on your future electric bills.

Come On Time, Leave On Time

There’s nothing more wasteful than using energy that’s meant for 20 people on just one person who came in late and had to stay late at the office. Your AC units can be set to switch on or off automatically at predetermined times of day (say, 8 am and 6 pm). This will help you control your electricity usage, which in turn results in a lower bill.

Plant Shady Trees Around The building

Trees provide shade and also increase the amount of oxygen that circulates around your building. Studies show that the higher the oxygen levels in the air, the more productive and attentive people are.  Planting shade trees around your establishment is a great way to reduce indoor heat during the peak of the day, and reduce the need for air conditioning.

Find Air Cooling Systems That Are Smart AND Energy-Efficient

AC units with thermostat regulators that determine whether it’s time to make the room colder or warmer are always smart choices. These features eliminate the need to check your thermostat every time things start getting uncomfortably hot.  What’s more, you can specify set times that the unit will turn on and off, which translates into tremendous electric savings since your commercial air conditioner will no longer run constantly when your building is vacant, like on weekends.

At the end of the day…

Whether you own a small shop or a 30-story building, there are always ways to save energy. These energy savings translate into dollars saved, which can be added to your bottom line. Energy Efficiency Pros has the expertise to help you formulate the right strategy to significantly reduce your energy costs.