Heating and cooling can be one of the biggest considerations for businesses when it comes to impact on your energy bill.
Heating and cooling can account for up to 50 per cent of your business energy costs.
Energy costs contribute to your business’s financial bottom line, so the more you can reduce your energy consumption, the more profitable your business may be. Saving energy means saving money.
Energy-efficient heating and cooling
Investing in energy-efficient systems is an important step in minimising the impact of heating and cooling on your energy costs.
Replace old heating and ventilation air conditioning systems with new, energy-efficient systems. Look for heating and cooling systems that will suit your workspace layout and have the right capacity for your needs. While upfront costs may be more, replacing old and inefficient systems with more energy-efficient alternatives will save you money in the long term.
There are numerous things you can do to ensure energy efficiency within your workplace, including installing blinds or solar shades to cool your workplace, installing reflective window film or awnings on windows, installing ceiling and wall insulation, insulating water heaters and supply pipes, and testing all ducts for leakage.
Ceiling fans cost less to run than air conditioning systems. As hot air rises, using a ceiling fan in winter can help move warm air around your premises, lowering your heating costs. Using a ceiling fan in summer can also be a more cost-effective and energy-efficient option, and if it isn’t enough to get to a comfortable temperature, it can be used in conjunction with an air conditioning system.
Depending on the climate you’re in, heating and cooling may account for a large portion of the energy used. Maximise your energy savings and comfort by choosing the right heating and cooling systems to suit your business needs.
Cleaning and maintenance
Regularly serviced and cleaned heating and cooling systems perform better and use energy more efficiently.
To ensure your system operates efficiently, you should get regular maintenance from a professional. Between these appointments, you can clean the dust filters yourself to improve efficiency.
Clean condenser coils and replace filters often. If your system has a dirty or clogged filter, this may result in higher energy consumption but less effective heating or cooling.
You can also perform regular maintenance on units yourself. Check ducts and pipe insulation for damage or leaks, check timers are working properly, and seal draughts around doors and windows.
Roof and wall insulation, as well as good curtains, can significantly reduce heating and cooling loads, so consider getting this installed, if you don’t already have it in place.
Try to limit the use of heating and cooling systems to minimise their impact on your energy consumption.
Reduce usage during peak periods and avoid having heating or cooling units running all day. Turn off air conditioning and heating for the last hour of the work day, as your building should be able to maintain a comfortable temperature until your employees leave.
During winter, open blinds and curtains during the early morning (especially if north or east facing) to capture heat gain from the sun, and during summer, close blinds and curtains to reduce heat gain. Closing external doors will also help contain heated or cooled air.
Install timers or programmable thermostats to maximise efficiency. Using a timer allows you to set your system to automatically turn off, so it doesn’t get accidentally left on overnight. You may also want to ask your staff not to adjust temperature settings.
A thermostat and timer provide control for temperature comfort and energy savings. For each degree you increase (air conditioning) or decrease (heating) the temperature, it may save you up to ten percent of costs.
Temperature can be one of the hardest things to manage, with different employee and customer considerations. Rather than blasting your heating or cooling, run it a lower level earlier, this can be much more efficient and effective for creating a comfortable temperature within your workplace.
Also, make sure to only heat or cool the spaces you’re using. Don’t waste energy on areas you don’t need to, such as rooms where you don’t spend much time, such as bathrooms or hallways.
If you’re wanting to reduce your business energy costs, check out our tips for managing your business energy this winter.