There are several ways that business owners can improve the operating efficiency of their HVAC equipment. This is good news because up to 12% of energy costs are directly related to your air conditioning. This number has been known to be as high as 70% during the hot summer months.
What can you do to improve your heating and cooling system efficiency?
These tips will give your HVAC system an efficiency boost
1. Clean your vents
A vent that is clogged with dirt and lint or blocked by furniture is a drag on your HVAC system. Your unit has to work harder to achieve the same temperature. Make sure there is no furniture blocking your airflow, and get your vents and ducts professionally cleaned.
2. Close doors and windows
Because refrigerated air systems have supply and return air vents, you should be able to keep your doors and windows closed. This keeps the outside air from raising or lowering the temperature inside. The exception to this rule is if you have a swamp cooler, which requires open windows and doors to work properly.
3. Clean around outdoor condensing units
Refrigerated air systems have at least one condensing unit outside. To keep everything running smoothly, clear all debris away from the outdoor unit. This includes plants that can grow into the unit.
4. Keep heat-producing appliances away from thermostats
A heat-producing appliance like a stove can cause your thermostat to give a false reading. Your system will think it’s warmer than it really is and stay on even when it should cycle off.
5. Insulate windows and doors
Poor insulation around windows and doors can cause you to lose valuable energy. Use caulk to seal potential trouble spots.
6. Cover your windows
When practical, use shades and blinds to conserve energy. This is a good idea for any areas of your building that are not in use and for areas that are directly impacted by the sun. Shades and blinds also act as an insulator against heat loss in the winter.
7. Increase the thermostat temperature
It’s not uncommon for business owners to set the temperature to 65°. The problem is that the unit has to run constantly to maintain that temperature. This can cause overheating of the compressor, leading to icing over or burning out. TLC’s HVAC professionals recommend setting your thermostat to 71° or higher.
8. Shade your condenser
When your condenser is sitting directly in the sun, it has to work harder to cool your building. If possible, provide some form of shade for your condenser.
9. Clear the drain line
Indoor condensing units produce water from condensation. This water has to be drained either outside the building or off the roof. If the condensate line gets blocked, it can significantly impact efficiency and lead to serious mechanical issues.
10. Insulate any exposed ductwork
If the ductwork is exposed, it is more susceptible to outside temperatures. Insulate exposed ductwork to improve efficiency.
11. Change your filters regularly
One of the most important aspects of HVAC maintenance is changing the filter. A dirty air filter forces your HVAC system to work much harder. This leads to low efficiency and even damage to the system. TLC suggests replacing the filter every three months.
12. Schedule routine preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your HVAC system. It keeps you ahead of the curve by making sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. You can catch problems while they’re small so you can avoid major repairs. Sometimes, a routine maintenance plan is even required to keep equipment warranties valid. In the long run, we strongly encourage all business owners to get their equipment on a preventive maintenance plan.
How to know if your HVAC system is not running efficiently?
There are a few sings that your HVAC system is not running
- Your electric bills go up
- Your unit cycles on and off more than usual
- Ice forms on the evaporator coils
- Your equipment is making loud or unusual noises
Any of these is an indication that your HVAC system isn’t running efficiently and may need repairs. If you notice one or more of these, it’s time to get a professional on-site. To schedule service, give us a call at (505) 761-9644 or schedule service online. If you have questions about TLC’s Commercial Maintenance Program, contact our CMA Manager, Mike Chambers at (505) 290-4191.