Four HVAC Sustainability Tips For Energy Efficiency
Advances in technology in the past couple of decades have provides a new suite of HVAC equipment that focuses on energy efficiency. When you want to build your business to be more sustainable to help curb costs and operate at a higher level, starting with energy efficient HVAC systems and best practices are the way to go. There are several actions to take to ensure HVAC sustainability for energy efficiency.
Thermostat Management Improves HVAC Sustainability
Taking a proactive approaching to managing the thermostat will help with your HVAC sustainability. Set the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. The basic reasoning behind doing this is so the building “matches” the outside temperature of the air coming into the building, which will take less time for the building to cool down and heat up due to the season.
Clean Ductwork Every Few Years
It is vital to have ducts cleaned regularly to prevent dust and mold buildup. Having this buildup in the ducts prevents clean indoor air from flowing through your building. Instead, it limits air flow and the air that does enter your building carries these particles of bacteria. This leads to a potential allergen-induced airborne illness in your workspace. The best times to clean ductwork when you notice:
- Any rodents or excessive insects in your building.
- There is visible evidence of dust that has built up in the vents.
- Odd or moldy smells that you think could be coming from the vents.
It is highly recommended to clean your ductwork every two years, but it is important to get your commercial HVAC units inspected annually by a licensed technician to check for cleanliness. Make sure the technician allows you to visually check the ductwork before and after they clean.
Have Everyone Practice Energy Efficiency
Create a culture of energy efficiency to help make your business more sustainable. This means to have your employees and customers keep windows and doors closed when not in use. Having doors and windows always open when the HVAC system is running will lead to a few bad things. First, you will be wasting money with needlessly higher energy bills. Second, your HVAC system will work harder to try to maintain your set temperature. Third, if you upgraded to an ultra-sustainable HVAC system, you will not see the cost cutting benefits of the system when you are increasing your energy bills manually.
Properly Seal Ductwork
According to the US Department of Energy, having properly sealed ductwork can “improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent—and sometimes much more.” You can check your ductwork visually to see if there are sections that are not fully sealed, or joined together. Hold your hand up to these sections when the system is running to see if you feel any air leakage. If you do, it is a sign that you need a professional to perform a ductwork analysis to see if resealing or replacement is needed.
Some additional tell-tale signs that your ductwork is not properly sealed is when you notice:
- Excessively cold or hot rooms
- More dust film on furniture and items throughout the business
- Sharp spikes in energy bills
- Weird odors and smells
Some parts of the ductwork can be sealed using do it yourself methods, but there can be leaks in the ductwork that is hard to get to, unless you hire a licensed and certified technician.