US Air Conditioning News

Commercial HVAC Sustainability Tips

- November 10, 2020



On average, cooling accounts for 15% of the electricity used in commercial buildings.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says much of the energy and cost that goes into powering HVAC is lost to waste – more than 30% in the average commercial building.  But it’s not all bad news, many of the actions building owners can take to improve sustainability and reduce costs require little to no expense.

Changing Filters

Dirty filters overwork HVAC systems by restricting air flow, lead to poor indoor air quality, and result in far more maintenance issues and costs. Check HVAC filters on a quarterly basis. Finding an HVAC technician to perform these regular check-ups can help. Switching out dirty filters is one of the simplest steps a business can take, and can reduce wasted energy costs by 5-10%.

Programmable Thermostats

Temperature settings in a business can often be contentious. Installing programmable thermostats removes much of the burden of tailoring temperature settings to meet the desires of a diverse workforce and customer base by focusing on sustainability and reduced costs.

Installing programmable thermostats, like Venstar, can affect sustainability in a number of ways. Running the system at higher or lower temperatures depending on the season when the indoor spaces are not in use can save hundreds of dollars a year.

Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

Commercial HVAC maintenance is like getting a tune-up for a car – it is necessary for top performance. Regular maintenance on all HVAC systems ensures that those systems and equipment are not wasting energy due to substandard, aging, or faulty performance.  This can reduce commercial HVAC maintenance costs by up to 40%.

Seal Heating and Cooling Ducts

Doing something as simple as properly sealing heating and cooling ducts can improve HVAC efficiency by 20% or more. Ducts can be sealed using mastic, foil tape or blown-in duct sealant, such as aeroseal. The sealing effect is further improved by wrapping the ducts in insulation. Focus first on areas of the building that are unprotected – underneath the building or in unheated/cooled storage spaces.

Upgrades and/or HVAC Replacement

Sometimes the best ways to improve HVAC efficiency is to upgrade or replace existing equipment and systems. Running HVAC systems and equipment past their suggested lifespans leads to exorbitant energy and maintenance costs.

If a building’s air conditioner or heat pump is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with ENERGY STAR-certified YORK HVAC products. This step can improve sustainability and reduce energy costs by up to 20%. Furnaces or boilers that are more than 15 years old will also likely be due for upgrades or replacement as well.

Retrofitting existing package units with advanced digital economizer controls and/or sensors that bring in ventilation air only when needed is yet another important and successful way for businesses to significantly improve energy efficiency.

Work with a Qualified HVAC Contractor

In order to get the most out of any HVAC repair, upgrade or replacement, work with a qualified HVAC contractor. The contractor can perform regular checkups and advise business owners on when and how to perform necessary maintenance. We can connect you with a qualified HVAC contractor in your area.

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