Keeping cool and comfortable becomes a high priority in the summer as the Australian sun beats down, but your business energy costs can increase during summer as a result.
Here are some things to keep in mind to help reduce your energy bills during summer.
The impact of temperature
Office spaces can become hot and stuffy in summer, which results in the air-con being turned on. Temperature can have a big impact on your energy bill, so it’s important to check the thermostat in your workplace and make sure it’s set at a comfortable temperature.
Don’t set it too cold, as each degree you lower your air conditioning will impact your energy bill. The smaller the difference between the temperature outside and inside, the lower the energy costs from running your air-con and setting the air conditioning system at just one temperature lower, may reduce your energy costs by 10 percent. Set the temperature at a comfortable level, somewhere between 24 and 27 degrees is often best.
Try to avoid pumping the air conditioning on high all day long, as while this may lower the temperature, it will also raise your energy bills. Be aware of the hottest periods of the day and only use your air conditioning system during those times. Use a timer so that your air-con turns on and off automatically to prevent it from running all day or being left on overnight. As well as limiting your usage to short periods, don’t bother using it to cool spaces not in use.
It’s also recommended to get your air conditioning system serviced regularly to ensure it works at optimum efficiency. The filter can become clogged and dirty over time, which results in the system using more energy to run. You can clean the filter yourself throughout the year, but you may also want to get it properly serviced at least once or twice a year.
Keep windows and external doors closed
When it’s hot outside, you want to keep the hot air outside, so make sure to keep all windows and external doors closed.
Cool air escapes through open windows and external doors, with warm air coming in. This will result in wasted energy and a higher energy bill. You should also check the seals to make sure there are no leaks. Draught-proofing your building will reduce energy loss.
When it cools down in the evenings, or a fresh breeze appears, open up the windows to help cool down your interior space and let fresh air circulate, just make sure to close up again when it gets hot.
Use a fan
Fans are more affordable to run than air conditioning systems, using only a fraction of the amount of energy.
While a fan doesn’t cool the air, it can create a wind chill effect that will help you stay comfortable during warmer days. They can help reduce your reliance on your air conditioning system and provide an alternative option. As with air conditioning systems however, don’t leave fans running in rooms not being occupied, as this just wastes energy.
You can use a fan alongside your air conditioning, so you can use a low temp on the air conditioning, though try to cool a space with a fan before turning on the air-con.
Embrace natural light
As the days grow longer, take advantage of the abundance of natural light. Invest in window treatments that will keep the heat out, while still allowing enough light to filter into your office space.
Keep the lights off during the day, and use lamps, rather than overhead lights to light smaller spaces.
Lights can add heat to a space, which causes you to spend more effort on cooling. Look for lighting options that operate at cooler temperatures, such as switching to more energy efficient light bulbs, which produce less heat and use less energy.
For more energy saving tips, check out our blog on quick ways to reduce your energy usage.