Commercial Air Conditioning When Energy Savings Don’t Pencil Out

When Energy Savings Don’t Pencil Out

With the constant advancement of technology and the increased availability of consumer information, many people are familiar with the various benefits provided by solar-powered HVAC systems in both residential and commercial settings. Despite the rising popularity of renewable energy sources and solar equipment however, many do not understand that not all efficiency solutions are created equally.

Are Your Commercial Air Conditioning Systems Wasting Money?

There has been a rapid growth in energy consumption, specifically in the use of air conditioning systems in commercial spaces, over the past few decades. Statistics from the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford reveal that commercial and industrial buildings consume 40% of the energy in the United States, and 76% of electricity. Roughly 13% of total energy consumption can be attributed to space cooling. Understanding that using and maintaining AC units will take up a relatively large part of their budget in the long term, many companies seek energy efficient solutions as a way to cut costs. A majority of the solutions they come across and employ, however, are not used to their full potential. Some are even used inappropriately, leading to minimal or no savings in the end.

The most common example of this happens with purchasing and installing energy-efficient air conditioners. On paper, this type of AC can greatly save you on electricity consumption. The premium grade systems with SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) level 14 or above and Energy Star certification are at least 15% more efficient than standard systems, and can save your business hundreds or thousands in utility bills annually. However, employing these energy efficient systems will be for naught if you choose the wrong energy-saving solutions.

3 Energy-Saving Methods to Avoid

What are these erroneous saving solutions  that prevent you from getting the most out of your energy-efficient system?

  •  Choosing a central air conditioner that is too small for your space – Most commercial establishments use central AC units, which come in a variety of sizes. When getting a central air conditioner, you have to remember that size matters. An air conditioner that is too small for an office will have to work twice or thrice as hard to completely cool the place, often leading to poor results and increased energy consumption.
  • Installing huge skylights and windows – Having large office windows and skylights can certainly help reduce lighting energy consumption, but they can also overwork your air conditioner since they let more light and heat pass through, especially in the summer. If you want to maximize the benefits of natural lighting and minimize the down side, it is best to consult a professional regarding the positioning of your skylights, and use drapes and shades to limit sunlight from your windows in the warmer months.
  • No regular maintenance – a business can certainly save some money in the short term by avoiding regular maintenance services and simply cleaning air filters, coils, and other accessible parts of the air conditioner themselves. However, without routine inspections from a professional, your system may be running less efficiently than it could be, and small malfunctions that could have been easily fixed may lead to quick deterioration and necessitate complete replacement of the unit.

As you may have guessed, when it comes to saving energy, simply knowing how efficient a heating or cooling system is on paper isn’t enough. Get in touch with one of our  Energy Efficiency Pros today to get expert advice on proper energy efficiency and saving solutions.