With the air conditioning season upon us, commercial property managers of office buildings, retail shopping centres, senior living communities, and long-term care centres continue to look for strategies that will optimize energy use, reduce costs, and maximize AC efficiency over the long term. Proactively maintaining your system will also keep your building occupants comfortable throughout the summer months, reduce or eliminate downtime for repair, and extend the life of your equipment.
Here are seven quick tips that can help you achieve your energy use objectives.
Inspect And Replace Air Filters
Commercial air filters that bring in outside air to be cooled can become clogged with debris, restricting the airflow into your indoor space, overworking your motors, and hampering energy efficiency. Be sure to inspect your filters every three to four weeks, and if they’re caked with debris, replace them as soon as possible, and at least every three to six months.
Maintain Zone Controls For Better Air Conditioning Levels
Over the warmer months, you can improve energy efficiency by setting different temperatures to suit the needs of individual zones. For example, cooling a garage or loading area where external doors are usually open can waste a significant amount of energy. Internal spaces such as filling rooms or unoccupied offices don’t need to be kept as cool as areas that contain more people. An HVAC professional can help with an HVAC audit and recommend how you can create zones for maximum energy efficiency.
Determine Pre-Set Thermostat Settings For Air Conditioning Needs
Program your thermostat to regulate airflow, temperature, and humidity levels to provide a comfortable environment during specific time blocks during the day. A simple adjustment like setting the lunchroom temperature to be cooler at peak use times and at a more moderate climate during non-peak hours can go a long way to saving energy.
Consider Installing Building Automation Systems
A building automation system (BAS) makes HVAC system management easier by allowing your system to automatically control the speed, output, and runtime of HVAC components such as fans, chillers, and dampers. BAS technology can be monitored and controlled remotely for quick and easy adjustments through a computer or mobile device. They can also give you an early warning of potential issues in the system, giving you plenty of time to arrange for service before it turns into a significant problem that could trigger a system shutdown.
Install Variable Speed Equipment
Consider switching to variable speed equipment if you’re currently using single-speed fans, blowers, and motors. Variable speed equipment can be set to run at speeds that deliver the air required by the space they serve. For example, you can program your components to run at a lower setting during non-peak periods instead of at the same speed around the clock. This will allow you to keep the indoor environment at an optimum temperature during high-occupancy hours while keeping your energy bills low.
Right-Size Your System For Your Air Conditioning Needs
If your HVAC compressors and chillers are too small for your building’s needs, they’ll be under stress to perform, decreasing system efficiency and creating uncomfortable conditions for your tenants. Ask your HVAC technicians to audit the tonnage and capacity of your equipment based on your building’s requirements and upgrade if necessary.
Book An HVAC Maintenance Visit
One of the most impactful strategies to keep your commercial HVAC system running efficiently all year round is arranging regular inspections by licensed service professionals.
Springbank Mechanical Systems offers cost-effective maintenance programs designed for your building’s specific needs, delivered by qualified HVAC technicians committed to providing quality work, expert advice, and courteous service. We specialize in maintaining, repairing, and replacing all brands and types of HVAC equipment.
Our commercial HVAC maintenance services include:
- A full annual inspection of hot water or steam boilers, including all relief and make-up water valves
- Deep cleaning of cooling towers or closed-circuit coolers to prevent mineral build-up and increase system efficiency
- Complete cleaning of steam humidifiers to remove mineral deposits, and replacement of the steam-generating cylinders
- Comprehensive scheduled inspection of water-cooled heat pumps, with replacement if necessary
Remember, HVAC maintenance programs are an investment in your system, helping you avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your equipment. The energy savings alone help you recoup your maintenance spend quickly, improving your bottom line.
For more information on our reliable commercial HVAC services, call us anytime. We’d be happy to answer your questions about how Springbank makes commercial HVAC maintenance easier and more energy-efficient.
Gregg Little, Paul DeThomasis, and Hugo Lopes are co-owners of Springbank Mechanical Systems. You can reach them at 905-569-8990 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.