As summer arrives, facilities costs can soar with added HVAC expenses. But preparing for the hot weather by using the following tips can help you keep your buildings in a good state of repair and costs down.
Focus on Proper Sealing and Insulation
If your building is not properly insulated, you’ll find yourself spending far more on energy bills. When the weather heats up, most of your building’s energy costs are spent on dehumidifying and cooling. Your building’s roof is the biggest culprit since direct radiation from the sun heats up the building and conducts heat inside. Having a light colored roof will deflect a lot of the sun’s rays.
Another best practice is to have a vented air cavity under the roof to allow the heat to be deflected before it reaches the roof insulation. Additionally, overhangs and porches protect windows and walls from the sun, so adding these is another good move if your building doesn’t already make use of them.
Energy costs can also be driven up by poor sealing. Improper window seals, construction joints, or crack allows air seepage. Make use of building wraps or spray insulation to counteract this. By adding insulation in the right places, you’ll improve efficiency and need to use less energy for a/c as the the ducts will lose less energy.
Schedule an HVAC System Check Up
Whatever type of facility you run, providing timely maintenance to equipment and machinery can keep costs down. Malfunctioning equipment works inefficiently, and a dirty HVAC coil can put strain on your system, lead to malfunctions and result in costly repairs. Regular servicing will keep your system working at optimal performance for longer.
It’s worth the expense to bring in an expert to:
- Check the thermostat
- Test the system controls
- Lubricate the parts
- Clean the evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils
- Adjust and clean the blower controls
- Check the central air conditioner’s refrigerant level
Sense, Automate or Reduce Run Time
If the facility you manage is seasonal (perhaps a school or university building) communicate with occupants and ask them to let you know in advance when they plan to use the space. This will save money by allowing you to turn off A/C when no-one is around.
Similarly, many office workers take vacation time in the summer and will not be using the premises at certain times. Consider making use of a building automation system (BAS) to detect when no one is occupying a certain area and adjust HVAC and lighting accordingly. BAS software will monitor efficiency and send you reports on your building’s efficiency and savings.
Demand controlled ventilation (DCV) is another way you can use sensors to automate and adjust your ventilation system in the summer months. It will automatically drop outdoor air intake (and therefore energy usage) when space occupancy levels drop below regular occupancy.
Keep Your Air Filters Clean
Conventional wisdom says that filters should be cleaned on a monthly basis. But CleanAlert’s FILTERSCAN® WiFi Air Filter Monitors and AirFilterSentry™ (AFS) Notification Service will send air filter clog alerts to your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. You’ll avoid wasting money on changing air filters unnecessarily but will also avoid the costly damage, inefficiency and potential system failure that can arise from dirty filters.
Following these tips will help you keep your facility’s costs down as the temperature rises.