Being a business owner comes with many responsibilities, not just in terms of ensuring seamless operations but also maintaining indoor air quality and comfort. The building, after all, has a powerful and reliable commercial HVAC system to keep everyone inside it comfortable, happy, and productive. And to keep it in good condition, the units must be routinely cleaned and maintained by professional heating and air conditioning service technicians at least twice a year.
But whether your business resides in an old facility or a recently built building, you may often experience irregularities in the monthly energy costs as you use your HVAC system. This may seem normal at first in your daily operations. Still, if you notice an unusual increase in energy consumption, it may be due to several HVAC performance issues. If not addressed, these problems can affect indoor comfort and air quality.
Common Factors Behind Rising HVAC Costs
Some factors can contribute to increased energy consumption on your commercial property. This won’t always mean better comfort, but rather the opposite, making your employees and customers feel uncomfortable. Albert Air Inc., a top search result when you look online for “air conditioning repair near me,” lists down some of the common ones to look out for:
- Faulty Thermostat and Controls
Depending on the size of your commercial property, you may have one or several thermostats installed. It may even have a building automation system (BAS) to monitor your building’s indoor temperatures. Over time, they may start to malfunction and sense incorrect temperatures, leading to miscalibrations and affecting your HVAC system’s performance. A trained technician can help address this issue; if left unattended, you may end up with poor indoor comfort and inefficient energy consumption.
- Poor Ductwork Installation and Maintenance
The ductwork is like a vast network of channels that move heated, cooled, and ventilated air throughout your commercial property. Usually made from sheet metal, a non-combustible and sturdy material that’s easy to clean and maintain.
When installed properly, the ductwork inside your building can distribute the air evenly. However, if some parts of your ductwork are leaking, the conditioned air can escape leading to high energy costs leading to unnecessary HVAC system strain. Locating the source of the leak can be tricky, so you’ll have to work with a professional air conditioning service technician who can thoroughly inspect your ductwork. They may either repair or replace the affected air ducts. It all depends on the severity and extent of the leak and damage.
- Refrigerant Leaks
The refrigerant plays a vital role in the ongoing performance and efficiency of commercial HVAC systems. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t run out and should be good for the lifetime of the equipment. Low refrigerant levels, however, are a common issue that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are two possible reasons why this happens: the HVAC system was undercharged — that is, the refrigerant wasn’t sufficient enough for the unit to function properly — or there is a leak, which is often the most common issue that leads to HVAC inefficiency. Either way, it is imperative to get in touch with an expert AC technician to check for leaks, fix the issue, and fill the system with enough refrigerant to ensure the system’s performance and efficiency.
- Aging HVAC System
If your commercial HVAC unit is near the end of its serviceable life span, you’ll notice a significant drop in its energy efficiency and performance. Even if it’s maintained regularly by a trusted technician, it can still suffer from performance issues and inefficiencies because of its age. This can affect indoor air quality and comfort, which can lower satisfaction among your employees and customers. Consider getting a complete replacement if your HVAC equipment is more than 15 years old as it may already be consuming more energy than normal.
- Poor Maintenance Routine
Your HVAC system must undergo professional maintenance annually to stay in good condition. Only a trained and experienced HVAC repair technician can thoroughly inspect your commercial units and identify any signs of damage and other inefficiencies. They also clean and replace the air filters as part of their routine. Neglecting your HVAC system may lower efficiency and lead to higher energy consumption. Your equipment will also experience more breakdowns, forcing you to pay for costly repairs.
How to Save on Energy Costs
The following are some of the efforts and strategies you can employ to save on energy costs while ensuring consistent indoor comfort and air quality in your place of business:
- Invest in an Energy-Efficient HVAC System
If you’re planning to replace your old commercial HVAC units, consider investing in ENERGY STAR®-rated models. Evaluated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, they are deemed energy-efficient, which means you can maintain indoor air quality and comfort without high monthly utility bills.
- Turn Off the Lights
Office lights often stay on even where they’re not being used. Make it a habit to turn them on only when necessary or keep them off completely during daylight hours. You can also switch to CFL or LED lights that use less electricity and invest in sensor lights for better convenience. You can even make use of sunlight from your windows whenever possible.
- Reprogram Your Thermostats
There’s no need to keep your commercial building cool or warm 24/7. Consider upgrading to programmable thermostats; they offer several benefits that help increase efficiency and comfort. They’re primarily designed to manage your building’s “off” hours or at night when nobody’s present. This helps save on energy costs as well as keep the HVAC repair costs low by turning them on whenever you need them!
- Consider Getting an Energy Audit
An energy audit can help determine how much energy your building consumes and outline how you can increase its efficiency. Your local electric utility company may offer free audits, which usually involve a professional representative coming to your building and conducting a thorough inspection of the property. They’ll look for signs of air leaks, insulation problems, or any other inefficient troubles that need to be addressed.
- Power Down Office Equipment
This includes your desktop computers, appliances, and other devices that are often left running even after the workday is over. You can instruct them to shut down their units before they leave and avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
You don’t need to look far when searching online for “air conditioning repair near me“. Albert Air Inc., provides heating and air conditioning services to both residential and commercial customers, addressing needs of varying scopes. Whether you need to repair an AC unit or replace a furnace, you can count on Albert Air Inc. to meet and exceed your expectations. Call us today at (714) 526-6368, or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.