We know that being a business owner or manager comes with a never-ending list of responsibilities, targets, reports and so on. If we are to reduce the “job description” to one simple phrase, then that would be: making the business run more efficiently while effectively saving money. Since your commercial air conditioning system is a loyal “VIP customer” of your energy provider, we’ll help you cut the costs by offering some remarkable solutions that can team up for the “win”.
By following these energy saving tips, any business could significantly improve its “win-win” approach. Not only will you reduce the cost of running your business but you’ll also update your “green” status and minimise your carbon footprint.
1. Choose a reputable brand known for its commercial air conditioning innovative features
Although most of the top air conditioning brands display a variety of air conditioners for commercial purposes, we strongly recommend you to learn about and compare them first.
An example of a trusted commercial AC manufacturer is Mitsubishi Electric, one of the world leaders in reliability and energy efficiency. Features that are definitely worth considering are: variable refrigerant flow, 2-pipe technology (heating and cooling simultaneously produced) or energy recovery systems (fresh air being taken from outside into the building).
Along with the brand choice, we also advise you to have a clear idea of what an ideal air con would mean for the office with the help of some general guidelines as described in a previous blog: How to choose the right Air Con for you following these 5 simple guidelines
2. Turn Off Standby
According to statistics conducted in 2016 regarding the commercial energy usage, there are quite a few business locations which are unoccupied around 70% of the year.
Sitting in standby mode translates into 10% of a business total energy costs, which could be easily avoided by following a few common sense procedures such as: plug in and set timers to automatically turn the office air conditioner off outside working hours or get higher-quality insulation installed for the office building.
3. Have the thermostat being operated by an assigned person only
Having a well-structured temperature planning according to the season is probably a “must do” for every business.
As people are different, there will always be someone who’s freezing in the middle of the summer or another one sweating in the winter, so “breaking the rules” and giving each individual the freedom to set the thermostat according to one’s needs wouldn’t seem to be a problem anyways. That’s when the conflict appears, resulting in unsatisfied employees and increased energy bills or, in other words, what any business would call a “lose-lose” situation (The highs and lows of the office temperature conflict)
Remember, trying to make all staff happy is close to impossible! Just do your best to continuously maintain an overall employee satisfaction.
4. Change the AC set-points to obtain higher efficiency
The “set-point” is the agreed temperature level – usually included in lease conditions – which the office air con aims to keep the internal environment of the building at.
The typical “set-points” are 21–22°C in winter and 23–24°C in summer. However, for every 1°C adjustment of the air conditioner closer to the outside temperature, the energy required for heating and cooling is cut by 5–10%. That means set point can both improve the health and comfort levels for staff by reducing the significant difference between inside and outside temperatures.
According to Prof. Richard DeDear at the Sydney Better Buildings Partnership Green Leasing, changing set points would not only maintain acceptable comfort levels for most occupants but also have a positive impact on the building performance.
Whether you start by implementing one of the solutions provided or you revolutionise your entire air conditioning approach at the office, you will gradually see the change reflected in your energy costs.
Until the next chapter, stay comfortable and productive!
Your friend and AC expert,