During the hot summer months it is vital to keep your office or work environment cool enough to allow for business as usual operation.
Air conditioning is the most effective way to do this but more often than not improvements can be made to the system itself, or the area it’s cooling, to help with air conditioner optimisation. This can save you and your business time and money as areas can be cooled quicker for less. The majority of these tips also apply to domestic air conditioning systems so read on even if you don’t have an office to cool.
Air Conditioning Efficiency Facts
An inefficient air conditioning system really can have an impact on your businesses bottom line. For example, on average, a HVAC system accounts for around 25 – 50% of a businesses or commercial buildings total energy bill. They can also be responsible for up to 63% of a buildings total greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also important to highlight just how much of an impact a single degree in temperature change can have on energy usage.
In winter a 1 degree increase can equate to a 15% jump in energy usage whereas in summer a 1 degree decrease can lead to a 10% increase in your energy bill. Add to this the fact that leaving a door open to a room can waste 50% of the HVAC systems benefits and it becomes clear how a properly optimised air conditioner and office system can lead to savings for you and your business. So, how can you improve your air conditioner performance?
Air Conditioner Performance Tips
It may seem obvious but one of the simplest and most impactful ways you can increase your air conditioner performance is by ensuring units are switched off when the building is not in use. Leaving units to run overnight or at weekends is an incredible waste of energy as they will effectively be cooling an area for the benefit of no one. You can either ensure you turn the machines off manually or utilise timers that are often installed on most modern air conditioning units. This will ensure the system is only running, and therefore using energy, when you need it to.
Another way in which air conditioner efficiency can be negatively affected is when doors or windows are left open. This severely impacts an air conditioning systems efficacy as it means it is effectively trying to cool not only the building interior but the outside environment too. It may be tempting for yourself or your staff to open a window first thing in the morning before the system has properly kicked in but resist, it would cost you heavily in the long run. Also, ensure your staff or building occupants fully understand the negative effect open windows and doors can have on effective air conditioning operation.
Another extremely efficient way to cut back on your energy bill and increase air conditioner performance is to use zoning to cool/heat infrequently used rooms less than others. For example, if you only heated infrequently used rooms such as store cupboards to 16 degrees during winter you could see a 30% drop in your heating costs for those areas.
Another way in which you can assist your air conditioners efficiency is through using fans in the rooms to be cooled. Not only can fans help ‘cool’ the room in question, reducing the demand on the air conditioning system, but they can also assist with air circulation which can help the room as a whole feel cooler by eliminating cooling spots.
It’s also very important to ensure you don’t oversize your air conditioning set up. Not only will this result in a higher than necessary initial investment but providing too much cooling power is extremely inefficient and can lead to your business haemorrhaging money in terms of wasted energy. When you rent air conditioning equipment from us our free site surveys make sure you are never oversubscribed and also ensure you are operating as efficiently as possible. For more info on our air conditioning rental services and free site surveys please visit our air conditioning rental page.
It is also worth considering using dehumidification equipment in particularly humid climates. High humidity can accentuate the feeling of heat and stuffiness leading to overuse of cooling equipment to combat the effects. We have a fantastic range of dehumidifiers that are extremely effective at drawing moisture from the air, visit our dehumidifier page for more information.
General Office or Room Cooling Tips
You can also make a few changes to your general office environment to assist with energy efficient operation of air conditioning systems. Turning off unnecessary lighting is one quick and easy way to not only reduce overall energy bills but it can also reduce unnecessary heat creation, therefore reducing the load on the air conditioning system. However, this can be taken one step further by converting all incandescent lighting to compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Once again this is more energy efficient overall and it will also mean a lot less secondary heat will be created when the lights are on.
Use of energy efficient office equipment is another fantastic way to help indirectly improve air conditioner optimisation. Of course, they are a way to improve the buildings general energy efficiency but once again they also give off less heat resulting in a lower ambient temperature to be cooled.
Another extremely simple, but most likely unpopular, way to reduce building ambient temperature is to use blinds during summer months. Blinds do a great job of preventing solar radiation from permeating a building and increasing the ambient temperature, therefore reducing the load on the air conditioning system. Whether your staff or building occupants will want to shut out the sun is a different issue entirely.
Overall then, there are many relatively simple ways for you to help improve air conditioner efficacy. We hope you find our practical and actionable tips useful.
Written by Ryan Hill