8 Cost effective tactics to keep your building’s cooling costs in check this summer:
We are all aware that summer cooling can have a significant impact on our operating costs. Its important that we act in a systematic fashion to reduce that impact as much as possible.
We tend to focus on indoor day time cooling as the biggest driver of costs. There are other areas that have an impact often a dramatic one. This article aims to address those.
While its true that the heat-load is lessened during the evening, we often think that our focus can stay on the day. We can use those cooler evening temperatures as a thermal bank we can draw upon to reduce our HVAC’s labors during the heat of the day. We who are cost-conscious realize that we can take advantage of the cooler evening temperatures to leverage day time costs.
Venting the building envelope from its daytime accumulated heat can provide significant thermal advantage. When outside temperature are cooler, venting and air recycling can reduce accumulated internal heat and provide a source of fresh cooler outside air.
Part of thermal control, is active, through our HVAC systems. The thermostats, and the HVAC hardware the technology of cool. Often we forget about the other technology that surrounds us and contributes to the thermal-load that the HVAC equipment must struggle to ACTIVELY COOL. One often over looked tactic is reducing the HEAT LOAD, by shutting down unnecessary equipment and lighting.
We tend to focus on controlling our facilities internal environment. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the world outside our building walls. It behooves us to keep a weather eye on the external forecasts. If the weather is cool, then much like the sprinkler we see running during a rainstorm, our best advanced programming cannot foresee every eventuality. If the weather is cooler, adjust the thermostats accordingly and if we are “enjoying” a heatwave we might want to advance the cooling times so that when the staff and guests begin arriving at the “normal times” our HVAC systems have already had a running start to get the comfort levels within tolerable parameters.
How often do you reset your systems “set points”? Do you adjust them seasonally? If not you should, there are savings there.
The veins, arteries and valves of your HVAC systems are its ducts, filters and fans. Are they regularly serviced and replaced as needed? All to often they are an afterthought. Clogged or cluttered filters broken, dirty or damaged duct work can’t perform optimally. Vents are often hidden behind boxes and packing materials. A system maintained at peak performance can handle the heat load far more cost effectively.
Passive control and passive loading can make a significant difference, are you allowing huge heat impacts through windows or do your windows have effective solar barriers? Solar shading or internal blinds can go a long way to keep the heat load at a minimum. Preventing unnecessary additional burdens which force your equipment to work harder than necessary can be avoided. The issue of internal lighting is another significant consideration for heat load. Your facilities lighting, the where, the how, the specific technology employed as well as the programmable use cycles can have a profound impact on the thermal load. Unnecessary lighting, especially incandescent lighting can contribute unnecessarily to the thermal load.
These tactics will allow your Building HVAC System to perform at the peak efficiency and reduce or eliminate unnecessary thermal waste.