Keeping workplaces at an optimal temperature for employees and customers is an ongoing challenge. While everyone has their own idea about the ideal inside temperature, business owners also need to consider the staggering cost of many heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. When you think that the South West’s long, hot summers can reach upwards of 40 degrees for days on end – while winter days get down to below a chilly 5 degrees – it’s no surprise HVAC systems account for up to 50% of energy use in our commercial buildings. In addition, for many businesses in the South West, air conditioning isn’t merely for comfort; wineries require constant temperature control as part of their winemaking and storing processes. With this in mind, many businesses are looking for ways to reduce the cost of their air conditioning systems.
The Australian Government recommends employing a holistic strategy to approach this issue. This strategy focuses on three overarching methods to reduce power use by HVAC systems: reducing demand, optimising and upgrading. Following this structure, below are some examples of practical tips to reduce the cost of your workplace air conditioning.
Reduce Demand for Air Conditioning
Reducing the need for air conditioning is the first step to lowering air conditioning costs. While some factors that influence your workplace temperature are out of your control – like the climate or the direction your building faces – there are other steps you can take to proactively reduce the demand for your HVAC system.
Limit Heat Entering and Leaving Through Windows
Exposure to natural light is important for the health and wellbeing of people working in a building but can come with a cost; windows are responsible for a whopping 20-30% of a building’s heating and cooling demands. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that windows have to go – there are plenty of ways to improve your windows’ insulating powers. Window tinting, blinds and curtains, and external shading like awnings all work to prevent UV rays from entering your building through windows and heating up the rooms inside. Window tinting and window furnishings also prevent the warm or cool air from your HVAC system from escaping through windows, helping to maintain the internal temperature and reduce the demand for air conditioning.
Optimise Your Air Conditioner
Your air conditioner costs may be impacted by a poorly running or faulty unit. In these situations, optimising your HVAC system by adjusting temperatures and getting an air conditioner service are simple ways to reduce costs spent on heating and cooling your workplace.
Check Your Temperatures
We’ve previously written about how the temperature you set your air conditioner to impacts your power use – and therefore your power bill. Generally, every degree you heat in winter or cool in summer adds 10% to your HVAC’s energy use. While not many people could tell you the difference between a room cooled to the standard 22 degrees and one cooled to 25 degrees, that change could reduce the energy used by your air conditioner by a massive 20%. You can optimise your workplace temperature and reduce power bills by simply changing your standard heating and cooling temperatures to 22 degrees in winter and 24 degrees in summer.
Get Your Air Conditioners Serviced Regularly
Another way to optimise your air conditioner is to make sure to get it regularly serviced. Stinson Air South West specialises in air conditioner servicing all across the South West, so whether you’re in Yallingup, Augusta, Busselton, or anywhere in between, we can help you optimise your HVAC system. By replacing parts that are showing signs of wear and tear, topping up fluid levels, cleaning dirt from vents, and checking that the thermometer and engine are working properly, our air conditioner service not only reduces power costs from running an inefficient or broken unit but ensures your HVAC functions properly and lasts longer.
Upgrade Your Air Conditioner
In some cases, optimising your existing HVAC system may not be enough, and a full replacement is the wisest choice. Although this requires an initial outlay, with so many energy-efficient air conditioners available, installing a new unit built with power reduction in mind is a great investment for reducing running costs and will save money in the long term.
Replace Your Air Conditioner With an Energy-Efficient Unit
Replacing your old HVAC system with a modern, energy-efficient unit has been estimated to reduce running costs by up to 40%. Not only are new units more efficient, having a professional commercial air conditioning supplier install your air conditioning ensures that you’re getting a unit that’s the perfect size for your workplace.
At Stinson Air South West, we’ve built a reputation for being the South West’s commercial air conditioning specialists. We are available to design, install and maintain air conditioning systems of all sizes, whatever your requirements. Get in touch to discuss your workplace air conditioning requirements and reduce your power bill today.