HVAC often accounts for the majority of energy used in a commercial or residential building; especially in hot summer months. So how can you cut down your energy use this summer and not sacrifice performance? Check out these tips by Jet Industries Inc.’s HVAC efficiency specialists:
“Tune-up” your heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. Even a new ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC system, like a new car, will decline in performance without regular maintenance. A contract automatically ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide “pre-season” tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. You save energy and money, and your system may last years longer with minimal costs yearly maintenance fees.
Regularly change (or clean if reusable) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating season. New filters usually only cost a few dollars. Dirty filters cost more to use, overwork the equipment, and result in lower indoor air quality.
Install an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat to automate your HVAC system. This solid-state, electronic device optimizes HVAC operation “24/7” based on your schedule and can be “overridden” as needed for unscheduled events. So consumers and staff always enter a comfortable facility, this “smart thermostat” can turn on the HVAC one hour before arrival instead of heating or cooling unoccupied space.
Control direct sun through windows depending on the season and local climate. During the cooling season, block direct heat gain from the sun shining through the glass on the east and especially west sides of the facility. Depending on your facility, options such as “solar screens,” “solar films,” awnings, and vegetation can help. Over time, trees can attractively shade the facility, and help clean the air. Interior curtains or drapes can help, but it’s best to prevent the summer heat from getting past the glass and inside. During the heating season, with the sun low in the South, unobstructed southern windows can contribute solar heat gain during the day.
Use fans. Comfort is a function of temperature, humidity, and air movement. Moving air can make a somewhat higher temperature and/or humidity feel comfortable. Fans can help delay or reduce the need for air conditioning, and a temperature setting of only 3 to 5 degrees higher can feel as comfortable with fans. Each degree of higher temperature can save about 3% on cooling costs. When the temperature outside is more comfortable than inside, a “box fan” in the window, or large “whole facility” fan in the attic can push air out of the facility and pull in comfortable outside air. Fans can improve comfort and save energy year-round. Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking. Caulking and weather stripping let you manage your ventilation, which is the deliberate controlled exchange of stuffy inside air for fresher outdoor air.
To learn more about HVAC efficiency and best practices for saving energy costs this summer, call Jet Industries Inc. today toll free at 503-647-6133