Companies throughout the Atlanta area are constantly seeking ways to improve operations and business practices with a focus on sustainability. Operating commercial facilities has a significant impact on the environment, especially due to the resources consumed and the waste generated by heating and cooling systems. Conserve energy and reduce your business’ environmental footprint with these tips for creating more sustainable commercial HVAC systems.
Heating and Cooling Energy Consumption in an Average Commercial Building
Commercial heating and cooling systems are major consumers of energy throughout the U.S. Approximately 25 percent of total commercial building energy use is dedicated to space heating, while 15 percent of total commercial building electricity use is consumed by space cooling. In total, heating, cooling, and ventilation accounts for 35 percent of all energy consumed to operate a building.
It’s no secret that powering HVAC equipment is a commercial facility’s largest operating expense. By creating more sustainable commercial HVAC systems, building owners can drastically lower energy consumption, related greenhouse gas emissions, and costs.
Sustainability Tips for Commercial HVAC Units
Create more sustainable commercial HVAC systems, and start generating energy savings right away when your facility implements these measures:
1. Eliminate Airflow Obstructions
In order to operate efficiently, air movement through HVAC systems and buildings must be free of blockages and restrictions. When the air’s path is limited, heating and cooling equipment draw more power as they work to overcome the obstruction and deliver conditioned air throughout the building. Common airflow obstructions that cause energy waste in commercial HVAC systems are dirty filters and blocked vents.
- Inspect air filters as part of your facility’s monthly maintenance routine. Replacing dirty filters as needed can reduce air conditioning energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
- Make sure all supply and return vents are open and unobstructed. Eliminating vent blockages can reduce wasted energy costs by as much as 25 percent.
2. Seal Ducts
In commercial buildings that use central forced air heating and cooling systems, duct leaks cause significant energy loss. This wastes energy and forces the HVAC system to consume more energy in order to make up for losses. Leaking return ducts disrupt pressure balance in the building, which causes air infiltration and resulting heat loss or gain. This increases the building’s heating or cooling load, forcing the HVAC system to use excess energy to make up the differences.
- Seal heating and cooling ducts to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption by 25 to 40 percent.
3. Maintain Maintenance Efforts
Wear and tear occurs over the normal course of HVAC system use, which reduces energy efficiency and creates malfunctions that force the system to consume more energy as it operates. Preventive maintenance tune ups service components to counteract wear and tear as well as identify malfunctions causing energy waste. Poorly maintained commercial HVAC systems use more energy, suffer more breakdowns, and have a shorter lifespan.
- Maintain heating and cooling equipment with professional tune ups annually or more frequently if recommended by your commercial HVAC professional. An effective maintenance plan could reduce energy costs by 5 to 40 percent, creating much more sustainable commercial HVAC systems than when maintenance is neglected.
4. Upgrade Inefficient Equipment
If your building’s heating and cooling equipment has been in service for more than 10 years, upgrades can outfit your facility with new models that operate at much higher energy-efficiency levels. New technologies in modern heating and cooling units allow for superior performance while using far less energy.
- Replacing existing HVAC equipment with ENERGY STAR models can lower overall HVAC energy consumption.
- If new heating and cooling equipment is not in the budget, consider retrofits using high-efficiency components such as variable frequency drives to build more sustainable commercial HVAC systems without high capital expenditures.
Sustainable Commercial HVAC Systems by Estes Commercial
Estes Commercial helps business and building owners across the Atlanta area develop more sustainable commercial HVAC systems through comprehensive commercial HVAC repair, replacement, and maintenance services. To improve HVAC efficiency and lower operating costs, contact us today to request an appointment with an HVAC technician.