Operating any commercial structure is all about keeping fixed costs under control. HVAC can contribute significantly to the operating expenses of commercial buildings, but it can be particularly costly in office buildings. Since most of the space in any given office building will be inhabited throughout the workday, maintaining a comfortable and safe climate is essential.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with high HVAC operating costs during the summer. You can keep your building's occupants comfortable and cool while saving money with a few simple tips and modifications. These three strategies will help you identify and address sources of high HVAC costs.
1. Create a Regular Maintenance Plan
Work with your building's HVAC contractor to develop a routine maintenance plan. Simple maintenance tasks such as replacing air filters can make a significant difference in your running costs. Likewise, regular maintenance can discover problems before they become severe, allowing you to spend less on repairs and avoid downtime due to failures.
Maintenance can also save money in other ways. In addition to keeping occupants comfortable, your AC controls humidity, preventing mold and other serious issues. The sooner you discover problems that can impact performance, the less likely you will face more expensive trouble in the future. You may be surprised at how much a simple maintenance plan can reduce your annual HVAC expenses.
2. Replace Aging Equipment
Just as with residential air conditioning, an old or undersized system will need to work harder to cool the same space. If you've noticed your monthly utility expenses slowly creeping upwards, it may be due to old hardware that's beginning to reach the end of its lifespan. Keeping utility records for several years can be a helpful way to discover an HVAC system that's starting to degrade.
Commercial air conditioners last about as long as residential units, so it's time to start thinking about upgrades when your equipment is more than a decade old. A commercial HVAC contractor can help you to evaluate the condition of your building's AC to determine if a newer, higher-efficiency model can save you money.
3. Manage Usage
High HVAC expenses can often result from improper usage. If you're finding your utility bills are strangely high in the summer, you may want to consider installing thermostats with programmable limits to prevent occupants from using low setpoints. Smart thermostats and building automation systems are other options to optimize and control excessive air conditioning usage.
Since high HVAC costs can have various causes, it's a good idea to consult with an HVAC contractor any time you feel your utility costs are increasing. An experienced commercial technician should usually have no trouble locating the source of the problem so you can begin to develop an appropriate strategy for bringing your building's expenses back under control.
To learn more, contact a commercial HVAC company near you.