HVAC systems are energy-intensive, and in large commercial buildings in Sumter, SC, that might mean thousands of dollars in electricity bills every month. Energy Star estimates that up to 30% of the energy used to power HVAC systems in commercial buildings goes to waste. There are many ways to reduce commercial HVAC costs, including thermostat upgrades and old system replacements.
Replace HVAC Systems Older Than 10 Years
A SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating shows the efficiency of an HVAC system. It’s the total number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat removed from the air divided by the amount of energy consumed by the system. A high rating indicates high efficiency.
Modern HVAC units have a minimum required SEER of 14 for HVAC systems in the northern states and a SEER of 15 in the southern states. You can also find systems with a SEER of 22 and higher, but those are much more expensive. Older systems, on the other hand, might have a SEER rating of 10 or less.
Most modern systems offer variable speed motors that adjust based on your needs. When the temperature in the office is comfortable, the motor speed moves slow. When the weather is extreme, the motor speed increases to maintain the temperature. By operating at low capacity when the temperature is mild, variable speed motors save power and reduce energy costs.
Choose an Energy Star-certified product to improve efficiency by up to 30%. The HVAC professional can retrofit your system with digital economizer controls and sensors that offer ventilation and heating according to demand.
Regularly Changing HVAC Filters
When filters are dirty, the HVAC system will have to overwork to heat or cool your workplace. Dirty filters restrict airflow, which can lead to poor indoor air quality. You can have a professional check the filters quarterly or during routine HVAC maintenance.
Replacing dirty filters can increase energy efficiency by up to 15%. Some filters are reusable, whereas others are one-time use only. Either way, they need to be cleaned or replaced every one to three months.
Using Programmable Thermostats
To meet the temperature needs of a diverse workforce, you need a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat adjusts the temperature settings based on the needs of your business.
Smart thermostats have advanced features, allowing you to control them from your smartphone, whether you are in the office or away. More advanced systems have sensors that adjust the temperature automatically with or without your input.
Seal the Heating and Cooling Ducts
Sealing ducts ensure that conditioned air is not escaping through cracks or holes in your ductwork. According to Energy Star, leaking ducts can reduce the efficiency of an HVAC system by as much as 20%.
There are different ways to seal ducts, including the use of foil tape, mastic or using blown-in duct sealant. After sealing, an HVAC technician will insulate the ducts for maximum efficiency. A well-sealed duct system ensures your office space doesn’t lose heat.
Commercial HVAC systems require regular maintenance to keep them functioning optimally. Reduced efficiency in HVAC systems is a result of a dirty centrifugal tube. A dirty tube reduces the heat that distributes through the system.
Failure to maintain the system for a long time leads to clogged line strainers, sediment in condenser tubes and clogged hot-deck nozzles. You can ensure the commercial heating and cooling system doesn’t overwork by scheduling routine maintenance.
During maintenance, the professional monitors the condenser flow rate, cleans the tube, checks the refrigerant levels, tests the compressor for leaks, checks thermostat settings and repairs failed sensors, among other tasks.
According to Energy.gov, you can save up to 10% of the energy you consume every year on cooling and heating by reducing the thermostat setting by 10 degrees when you are sleeping. A programmable thermostat can do that automatically.
There are many ways to save on commercial HVAC costs. You can start by maintaining your HVAC system routinely and by installing a programmable thermostat. Call Air Solutions Heating and Cooling and choose one of our maintenance plans to optimize your HVAC system for energy savings.
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