For commercial property owners with rooftop HVAC units, saving energy when running their HVAC system amounts to long-term cost savings. Not only that, following energy-saving practices can prolong the life of their equipment, thereby increasing their property’s value.
With the high humidity levels that blanket Ontario each year, it’s important that HVAC systems run at peak efficiency to keep clients, customers, and tenants comfortable and happy. These 9 tips can help you achieve optimal system performance while keeping your energy bills as low as possible this summer, and beyond.
Clean Your Condenser Coils
The condenser coils in your rooftop HVAC unit are critical to your system’s operation. Their main function is to transfer heat from inside your building to the outdoors. The buildup of debris and pollutants can cause the coils to not reject heat properly, seriously affecting the unit efficiency. Cleaning them with a power washer is very easy, and can be done by an HVAC service professional.
Change Your HVAC System’s Filters
Changing your HVAC filters should be part of your regular system maintenance as they keep harmful elements from entering – and potentially damaging – your HVAC system. Over time, filters can build up with dust and dirt that will prevent efficient airflow, causing your system to work harder. As a result, system performance is reduced. It’s essential to change your filters three times per year at a minimum, and potentially more often during the peak cooling season.
Use Good Quality Fan Belts
If you opt for low quality fan belts in your HVAC system, you risk negatively affecting the heating and cooling efficiency of your building if the belt starts slipping on the pulleys. Ensure that you are only using good quality fan belts for better overall energy savings.
Don’t Put HVAC System Repairs Off
If something breaks down, or you need help with maintenance issues, it’s well worth taking care of as soon as possible. A system operating at low efficiency will affect your repair budget more seriously next quarter than it will now, so pick up the phone and call a qualified technician to assess and repair the problem right away.
Audit Your HVAC System’s Energy Consumption
You can also have a look at your energy bills from over the last 2 – 3 years to assess energy consumption at certain times of the year. For example, is there any evidence of energy spikes that don’t appear related to the change of seasons? Do you see any trends that might indicate a decline in efficiency over time? This information can also be gathered through remote system monitoring by your HVAC service company, who can also identify problems more accurately, and make recommendations that improve efficiency over the long term.
Consider Installing Smart Thermostats
Setting your HVAC system for the same temperature overnight and on weekends as during the workday wastes a significant amount of energy. Smart thermostats can not only be programmed for an appropriate temperature based on when you expect your building to be occupied, but they can also detect when people are in the space, and automatically adjust the temperature settings accordingly.
Educate Building Occupants
When it comes to saving energy, we’re all in it together. Get employees and tenants involved in conserving energy by making them aware of your best practice guidelines. Most people will feel good about helping to save energy, and this initiative will open up a dialogue as to how everyone can work together to achieve results.
Conduct Energy Inspections:
Many companies carry out safety audits by walking the building looking for and solving potential fire, heath, and safety issues. Why not do the same for energy efficiency? Seemingly innocent acts by employees and tenants, such as propping open doors or running space heaters when the HVAC system is running, can potentially add to your energy costs. You can identify and remedy these and other energy-wasting practices by simply walking the floor on a regular basis.
Perform HVAC System Regular Maintenance Inspections
As with many things, prevention is key to keeping everything working smoothly, especially during peak periods. A regular maintenance inspection by a qualified HVAC technician includes cleaning, parts replacement, and much more. Ensuring that inspections are done regularly will go a long way to solving problems before they have a chance to happen.
It’s important to note that every dollar you spend on system maintenance is earned back in energy savings. Not only that, taking preventative steps to keep the air flowing efficiently will help avoid costly repairs in the long run.
I’d be happy to answer your questions about these energy-saving tips – contact me anytime.
Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.