Sure, we all know saving energy is important. Who wants to write big checks to the utility companies, anyway? But here’s the simple truth from the HVAC insiders here at Air-Tro: springtime is ideal for implementing the little changes that will save you big money when it comes to your bottom line.
Let Outdoor Air Work For You
Unlike the broiling hot of the summer months or the crisp temperatures of winter, springtime in Southern California means a very comfortable outdoor ambient temperature that, if harnessed correctly, can make your indoor environment at work quite pleasant without a lot of heating or cooling costs.
In other words, this is exactly the time of year to think about your HVAC system. Don’t wait! Check out the ideas below that make sense for anyone who owns or operates a commercial building. And what’s more? Implement these changes and you’ll not only have some budget left over, but avoid wasting potentially thousands of dollars with inefficient and needlessly expensive equipment.
#1. The Wrong Economizer Is Anything But Economizing
An “economizer” is what the HVAC industry calls a motorized damper that’s controlled by a temperature sensor. It’s designed to bring in cool outside air when opened, and to keep hot outside air out when closed. However, many economizers are designed poorly and built cheaply, with faulty, inaccurate sensors that can do more harm than good in terms of air circulation and temperature control.
To illustrate: in springtime, if your economizer doesn’t open, it means you’re missing out on all the free outside air while still running your inside air conditioner (and spending money when you don’t have to). In summertime, if your economizer opens inadvertently, it means you’re exposing the building’s insides to the sweltering outdoor air. Your ironically named “economizer” then becomes even more of a liability, as hot air is pulled into your building. Your air conditioning has to work all the harder, cooling the interior spaces the economizer just heated up.
Economizers have been mandated by California law for more than 30 years. When was the last time you had the temperature sensor on your equipment calibrated or checked for proper operation? If you can’t remember, don’t worry. You’re not alone. The good news?
Finally, we’re happy to report that companies are introducing better models, ones with more sophisticated temperature sensors and sturdier, more reliable mechanical parts. Call us to check out your current one, and while you’re at it, consider replacing your old economizer with a higher tech, more accurate product. You’ll save money all year long.
#2. Smart Thermostats Are Smart!
As businesses become more reliant on big data to run their marketing, product development, and operations sectors, the world of HVAC is not far behind. Today, you can install a smart thermostat in your building, one that’s not only compatible with 99% of existing commercial HVAC systems, but that also allows you to monitor its settings from your mobile phone or tablet. Furthermore, you may also qualify for significant federal rebates simply by installing one. A little information goes a long way, and a smart thermostat can make the difference between saving money and spending it unnecessarily.
#3. Comparison Reports: How Does Your Building Stack Up?
Did you know you can compare your building’s energy usage with similar buildings in your climate zone? This kind of information can help you assess the efficiency of your current systems, while informing the choices you can make for further energy conservation and a reduction in energy costs. Check out the EPA’s free benchmark tool online use energy star benchmarking tools.
#4. Ductwork: Leaks and Gaps Make a Difference
As you might already suspect, leaky ductwork can have devastating consequences when it comes to efficient heating and cooling. Those leaks and gaps can cost you money and make your existing systems work harder than necessary. When was the last time you had your ductwork inspected? Let an experienced Air-Tro technician check out your building’s heating and cooling equipment. It’s a quick, inexpensive assessment that can save you big bucks. Well installed, correctly maintained ductwork will prevent air leaks, conserve energy and keep your employees comfortable. What’s not to like?
#5. Air Efficiency: Is That Whooshing Sound the Money Leaving Your Wallet?
Are some areas of your commercial building too hot, and others too cold? Your HVAC system could have air efficiency issues that are costing you big money, even in relatively mild times of year. A certified HVAC technician test your system for efficient airflow, to ensure that you’re not wasting money overheating one room while sending another area into cooling overdrive.
More Reasons to Save
As if things weren’t bad enough when it comes to problems with outdated or poorly maintained commercial HVAC equipment, their consequences go far beyond the size of your energy bill. Statistically, the number one reason tenants vacate a property is because the building was too hot or too cold. According to a BOMA 2010 survey, a comfortable ambient temperature is the key to keeping a building occupied and tenants satisfied. What’s more, utilities like Southern California Edison are offering rebates up to $400 a ton for replacing commercial air conditioning systems with high efficiency designs
The fact is, faulty or outdated HVAC equipment result in more than just higher energy bills. You could be losing out on occupancy rates, as well as opportunities from federal and state rebate programs to incentivize conservation.
Don’t spend money when you don’t have to when it comes to your commercial property. Call Air-Tro today to find out more how you can maximize energy efficiency and lower costs, while keeping your building comfortable for many seasons to come. (626)357-3535.