Keeping your business cool during summer can result in an increase in energy costs as many businesses can start to blast the air conditioning on a regular basis.
Air conditioning can account for a significant portion of energy use within an office environment. However, there are some things you can do to help reduce annual cooling costs of your business, while still keeping your workspace cool and comfortable.
Take the pressure off your cooling system
Instead of turning on your air conditioning and running it on high, consider other actions you can take to help cool your workplace and reduce your reliance on air conditioning.
Direct sunlight streaming into your workplace can quickly raise the temperature. Using curtains and blinds can impact the inside temperature and help keep your business cool while still letting enough light into the room. Curtains and blinds can take the kick out of the sun’s heat, and they will not add to your electricity bill.
Using fans is another way to avoid excessive use of air conditioning. Ceiling fans or floor fans can help keep a space cooler, and they use less energy than air conditioning units. If a fan on its own is not enough, you can use it in conjunction with your air conditioning, and you won’t need to have the air con temperature set as low.
Also, encourage employees to dress appropriately for the warmer weather, and wear comfortable clothing so you can avoid having the cooling on all day.
Manage your air conditioning
Invest in improved control systems that enable you to better manage your cooling systems.
Automate temperatures and adjust your thermostat settings so as not to have your air conditioning set too low. Each degree you lower the thermostat in summer makes a difference to costs and puts additional stress on your system. Set it to a comfortable temperature and don’t allow your employees to change the setting throughout the day.
Make sure not to set and forget your air conditioning, as you are unlikely to need it to turn on all day, every day. Only cool the office when it’s occupied, and don’t leave your cooling system on overnight or on weekends. You may also want to set it so it only comes on for a set amount of time each day. Mornings can often be cooler, so you may be able to get away with not having the air conditioning on until after lunch, and then make sure it turns off at the end of the day as people start heading home.
Don’t waste your cool energy
As air conditioning can contribute such a high cost to your energy bills you want to make sure that energy isn’t being wasted.
Check your air conditioning units are in the right place throughout your business premises to give the most effective cooling. If you have open doorways, you don’t want your air conditioning units to be situated directly above them, as you will end up losing a lot of your cool air. You may need to relocate units to ensure you’re not wasting energy.
It may be a good idea to remove units from unnecessary spaces, as you probably don’t need an air conditioning unit in every room of your workspace, especially those where employees are not spending much of their time. And block off areas that don’t need to be cooled, as the more space there is to cool, the more energy you expend and the higher your energy bills will be.
Maintenance makes a big difference
Regular maintenance ensures you get the most from your cooling unit during summer, as a clean air conditioning system runs more efficiently.
Filters can become dirty and clogged quickly, causing the cooling system to work harder and use more energy. Have spare filters on hand so you can easily clean and replace filters on a regular basis.
You should get your system professionally serviced at least annually to keep it running at optimum efficiency. This will also keep your system in better condition for longer. If your air conditioning system is quite old, and even with maintenance, no longer works efficiently, it may be a worthwhile investment to upgrade to a more energy efficient system. This will save you money in the long term.
For more tips on how you can reduce energy costs within your business, check out our blog on strategies for saving energy in the workplace.