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10 Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs in Your Building

Maintaining comfort in the occupied spaces in your building should be a primary concern since it is highly beneficial for the business and your tenants or employees. You can achieve this by installing a commercial HVAC system that will cover the heating, cooling, and ventilation throughout the building. While air conditioning systems are necessary, they can consume a large amount of energy, increasing energy costs.   

Aside from comfort, you also need to implement energy-efficient practices to help control or reduce your consumption. Since one of the main functions of your HVAC unit is to distribute cooling air, here are some practical tips on reducing cooling costs in your commercial building.   

New for You: Commercial HVAC Systems: Types, Diagram, Cost,  Components, meaning   

Tip #1: Choose an Energy-Efficient HVAC System   

Before anything else, ensure that you install an efficient HVAC unit compatible with your building needs. If you have been using your HVAC for more than 15 years, it would be better to replace it with a newer model that is significantly more efficient than the older unit. Newer models have better features and technology that reduce their energy consumption.   

When investing in a new cooling system, choose a unit with a high-efficiency rating and install it accordingly with the help of an Energy Star certified technician. It would also help to be critical of the size of the unit since undersized systems will have to work harder and require more energy to function correctly.   

Tip #2: Set thermostat to 68-76 degrees Fahrenheit   

HVAC regulations set by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) suggest that the recommended ideal temperature in the workplace would be between 68-76 degrees Fahrenheit.    

Not only is it ideal for cooling and comfort, but it can also help reduce energy costs, especially during the summer season. Although it may be tempting to increase the cool air, there are other ways to improve circulation and maximize your space.   

Tip #3: Regulate Air Flow   

Investing in custom dampers is also an effective way to optimize your commercial HVAC unit and regulate your cooling costs. They offer an advanced filtration system that uses adjustable blades that control airflow.    

When it comes to commercial spaces, the ideal type of damper to use is backdraft dampers. It allows automatic airflow in one direction while preventing reverse airflow to the unit. This function effectively hinders cool air from flowing back to the HVAC system to lower energy consumption.   

Tip #4: Clean Air Filters   

While air filters are essential for maintaining good indoor air quality, you also need to clean the filters to make the fans more efficient and allow more airflow. Regularly remove dust build-up and other air contaminants in the air filter to ensure that your cooling system works at maximum capacity.    

In addition, continuously using dirty filters beyond their expiration will cause your cooling unit to require more energy and be at risk of exposing contaminants in your indoor air.   

Tip #5: Invest in Insulation   

Improving your building’s insulation is also an effective way of reducing cooling costs. Insulation is a top priority in many construction projects as it helps maintain indoor temperature depending on the season or climate. For instance, a well-insulated building can help prevent heat transfer by keeping the cooled environment inside.    

If you are building or renovating your commercial space, we highly recommend insulated concrete forms (ICF) for your wall framing due to the benefits that you will receive in terms of reduced cooling costs. These advantages include air quality, moisture barriers, and improved thermal capacity. By improving thermal performance, the occupied spaces in your building can maintain a stable interior temperature.   

However, if you already have built walls, you can install polyiso insulation to prevent the cooled air from leaking through the roof. It is also among the most sustainable roofing materials as it meets the industry standard for airflow control and efficiency. Use this in conjunction with drywall access panels plaster bead flange to further ensure insulation and maintain aesthetics.    

Tip #6: Seal Doors and Windows   

Small and noticeable gaps in the door and window sealing are significant contributors to the air temperature loss in your building. As a result, your HVAC unit will work harder to make the space cooler, leading to higher energy costs and an overworked machine.    

You can look for many indicators to determine if there is an issue with the sealing: air drafts from closed doors and windows, noticeable gaps on the framing, and dust or moisture accumulation around these fixtures. To fix the cracks, it would be best to hire a professional so that they can conduct airtight tests and properly seal these gaps.   

Tip #7: Checking Your Building’s Orientation   

Your building’s orientation directly impacts your cooling costs as the sun will have varying levels of warmth in the different areas of your building. For instance, you may consider trees, buildings, and other structures to provide shade for your commercial property.    

However, it is more likely that the southern side of your building will receive more heat and light than the north. Therefore, if the main offices and workspaces face the south, they will receive more comfort during the winter – but the heat may be unbearable during the summer.   

In addition, rooms that face the west will receive direct sunlight in the evening, and when combined with the heat generated during the day, this area will be scorching during summer. It would be best not to store products and avoid placing the workspace in this area if you want to limit your air conditioning costs.    

If moving the working areas and occupied spaces is not feasible, you can still protect your interior from the heat by installing drapes, blinds, and awnings to maintain professionalism while providing shade.    

Tip #8: Use Renewable Energy Sources   

Although carbon-based energy sources are still widely available today, exciting innovations in alternative energy paved the way for renewable energy sources to become more viable in the residential and commercial sectors.   

The most prevalent renewable source is solar energy, an ideal long-term investment for your business if you are serious about becoming more sustainable and reducing energy costs. The various benefits of installing solar panels significantly outweigh its disadvantages. It is an excellent means of controlling your cooling costs and reducing your reliance on non-renewable energy sources.   

Tip #9: Close Curtains and Blinds at Right Time   

Reducing cooling costs is also about having an intelligent approach and maximizing everyday items in your commercial space, such as curtains and blinds. One way of preventing internal heat transfer is to close the curtains or blinds when direct sunlight is glaring through.    

Shutting them before leaving the office helps reduce heat from the setting and rising sun to make the space easier to cool when in use. In addition, you can also place indoor cooling plants to reduce heat and improve air quality. Place the plants near the windows to absorb the sunlight and act as additional protection against the heat.   

Tip #10: Regularly Maintain Your Commercial HVAC Unit   

Finally, ensure that you take care of your new unit with proper maintenance and regular inspection. Schedule inspection once or twice a year, ideally before the summer and winter, to prepare your unit for the drastic temperature changes. If you properly care for your HVAC system, you will eventually decrease your energy costs.    

Here’s a seasonal maintenance checklist that you can use to ensure that your system is ready to handle the changing seasons.   

Spring & Summer: AC Maintenance Checklist   

  • Replace air filters on the cooling section of the unit  
  • Check the belts and pulleys if they need replacement  
  • Maintain condenser and evaporator coils    
  • Remove water from drain lines and trays  
  • Test electrical connections   
  • Inspect fan operation and blower motor if they require adjustment  
  • Apply oil to motors, bearings, and other moving parts so that they are well-lubricated  
  • Test the thermostats  
  • Ensure adequate airflow   

Fall & Winter: Heating Maintenance Checklist   

  • Replace air filters on the heating section of the unit  
  • Check the belts and pulleys if they need replacement  
  • Remove water from drain lines and trays  
  • Test electrical connections   
  • Inspect fan operation and blower motor if they require adjustment   
  • Examine ignition and burner assembly   
  • Apply oil to motors, bearings, and other moving parts so that they are well-lubricated  
  • Test the thermostats  

When choosing an HVAC unit, consider how much care and maintenance it needs to function correctly. You can expect commercial models to be more complex, but some units may require more components and energy.   

The Bottomline   

Maintaining the occupied spaces in your building relaxed and comfortable is necessary for ensuring that your employees work productively to make the business more profitable. However, keeping large areas cool may hurt your energy costs since your HVAC unit needs more energy to distribute conditioned air.    

By following these practical tips, you are sure to find an improvement in your monthly energy bills. Applying any of these combinations can significantly help you reduce and control your cooling costs.  

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11 thoughts on “10 Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs in Your Building

  1. Thanks for reminding about regular ac filters cleaning. Basically, they need to be cleaned/replaced once every two months, but it rather depends on the type of fiter you use. Some of them less durable, some of them like pleated filters or filters with high MERV rating are more durable.

  2. Good article, thank you for sharing. Also, I recommend paying attention to such a thing as SEER rating when investing in a new cooling system for your home. The higher the rate, the more energy efficient the unit. You save about 7% per 1 SEER on electricity costs.

  3. Nice Post thank you very much for sharing such a useful information and will definitely saved and revisit your site and i have bookmarked to check out new things form your post.

  4. Thank you for your valuable tips. As for the thermostat, in summer, set it to 78 degrees when you’re at home and to at least 80 degrees if your home is vacant for more than a few hours.

  5. One more thing to consider in order to reduce energy consumption is letting your air conditioner run when you leave your house in the morning. It may seem counterintuitive, however, by setting your air conditioner at a sensible 72 degrees before you leave for the day, you will be able to come home to a comfortable house without having to crank the AC as low as it goes as soon as you step through the door.

  6. In summer, we recommend setting a thermostat to 75°F when you wake up, 80°F when you leave, 75°F in the evenings, and 78°F (or turn it off) when you sleep. Adjusting a thermostat depending on the situation helps save even moreenergy (and money).

    You won’t feel a big change in temperature, but you’ll see a significant reduction in energy usage!

  7. Yes, AC filter replacement is crucial. For better AC efficiency, it is generally recommended to replace standard 1-inch AC filters every 90 days in a standard suburban home without pets, every 60 days if there are pets or occupants with allergies, and every 30 days in homes with multiple pets or severe allergies.

  8. I love the tips for energy savings! If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce air conditioning in summer, consider is to utilize natural ventilation. On cooler summer evenings, open your windows and let the fresh air in to naturally cool your home and help your air conditioning work less hard. This can help reduce energy consumption and provide a refreshing breeze.

  9. Thanks for mentioning the importance of changing AC filters – it is such an easy thing that makes a big difference. Remember that AC filters in commercial buildings should be replaced every 3 to 6 months, depending on factors like filter type and indoor air quality.

    1. Indeed, changing AC filters is making the big difference. The experience of breathing air from dirty filters and freshly changed filters is simply incomparable.

  10. Also to improve insulation invest in insulated doors, especially for exterior entrances. These doors have better thermal properties, reducing the transfer of heat between indoor and outdoor spaces.

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