Commercial Building Tips During Covid-19

Many businesses in Albuquerque are pivoting and working hard to find ways to make things work during these challenging times. You may be reducing the amount of staff at your business, or are temporarily shutting down altogether. We wanted to provide tips to local businesses on things you can do today to save money and how to best shut your commercial building’s appliances down to avoid unnecessary costs while patrons and employees are staying home during Covid-19.

TLC remains committed and prepared to respond to your customers’ needs and to provide the same level of trusted quality service you have come to expect. And should you need us, we will be there for you.

Things You Can Do If You’re Still Open

These are some simple measures you can take to help save money on your utility bills and to ensure your equipment is running efficiently.

Change the Filters in Your AC Unit

  • Improves Energy Efficiency – It’s important to change the filters in your commercial AC units for a couple of reasons. First, it’s an easy way to make sure that you’re getting maximum airflow. If your filter is dirty or clogged, it means your system has to work harder to get air through the system. This can cause the unit to work harder and use more energy.
  • Extends the Life of Your Air Conditioner – If you have a dirty filter, this can cause the dirt and debris to damage your system.  Plus, your system is forced to work harder when your filter is dirty and can cause a lot of unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Minimizes Unexpected Repairs & System Failures – Neglecting to change your air filter can cause your system to shut down. It can cause the coils to frost over and eventually into a block of ice. When this happens, the unit shuts down.

If you want some help with your filters you can schedule service so we can come out to your business to take care of this for you.

Clean the coils of your commercial AC unit

  • Cleaning the condensing coils on your commercial AC package unit at the start of the cooling season can do a lot for your equipment. The best thing to wash your coils with is water. Have a little bit of pressure in your hose and gently stroke up and down to clean out the dirt buildup and anything else that could get caught in the coils (i.e. cottonwood seeds). When you clean the coils, you’re opening up the little gaps in the coil so the air can easily flow through and the heat can transfer off the aluminum fins.  Doing this at the beginning of the season will help your unit run more efficiently, which in turn, will cause less wear and tear and save money on your energy bills. We put a video together that shows you how to clean the coils of your commercial AC unit.

Reset your Thermostat’s Temperature

  • Set your thermostat around 70 degrees. As the outside temperature begins to get warmer, this helps keep your system from turning on as often and working as hard to maintain a cooler temperature point. TLC recommends 70 degrees because it tends to be tolerable for most people. When your equipment isn’t having to work as hard, it helps extend the life of your equipment. You’ll also see some savings on your utility bills.

What to do with your plumbing

  • Luckily, there’s not a whole lot you need to do here. You’ll just want to make sure that your employees aren’t flushing anything but toilet paper down the drain. Please do not throw “flushable” wipe down the drain. They do not break down the same way as toilet paper and can cause major backups.
  • Turning down the temperature of your water heater helps conserve energy. Your water heater kicks on every time it drops below the temperature you’ve set. When you lower the temperature, it keeps the water heater from turning on as often. This helps save money with your gas bill.

Unplug unnecessary appliances

  • If a portion of your building is shut down and doesn’t require power, we highly suggest unplugging appliances. You’ll also want to turn off any unnecessary power strips. Even if you’re not using the appliance, it’s still drawing power when it’s plugged in. By simply unplugging the things you don’t need, you will save your company some money on its electric bill.

Things You Can Do to Your Building If You’ve Temporarily Closed

Here is a checklist of to-dos for your business to ensure that you have everything properly shut off and that you’re saving money on your utility bills.

What to do with your AC/heating system

  • If your business depends on maintaining temperature control then look to only keep certain points of your building’s thermostat on. If you have a server room, for example, keep that room at the temperature recommended by your IT department. You can go ahead and turn off thermostats in your building at all other locations. This will keep your units from running when it’s not necessary.
  • South-facing windows create a lot of natural heat. Close the blinds or curtains to help keep your building cool.

What to do with your swamp cooler

  • If you have a swamp cooler, and your building doesn’t require cooling, you can keep that unit turned off. If you have areas that require airflow, you can take out the damper so fresh air can get into your building. Luckily, we’re at a great time of year, when we generally don’t need our cooling systems. This could change soon, though. If it starts to get hot, then you may want to consider turning on your swamp cooler to keep those areas of your building cool.
  • Close the blinds or curtains on south-facing windows to help keep your building cool.

What to do with your plumbing

  • Your plumbing is pretty low maintenance – you don’t need to do anything to it when you shut down your building. Your water lines aren’t activated unless someone turns on a faucet or flushes a toilet. However, if you do have a small drip coming from a toilet or sink, you can shut off the angle stop to that particular faucet or toilet to keep the water from running. This will help keep your water bills low.
  • We suggest turning down the temperatures of your water heaters or turning them to pilot-only mode. Your water heater is regularly turning on to maintain your set temperature point. If you don’t need hot water at this time, then you can turn down the temperature setting to save money. We don’t recommend shutting off your water heater altogether.

What to do with your electronics using power

  • Even if you have computers or any other appliances that are plugged in, they are still using small bits of electricity, even if they’re not currently being used. You should unplug or turn off any unneeded power strips to avoid using unnecessary power while your building is not in use. This will save even more on your electric bills.

TLC is here for our community during these challenging times. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns or require assistance. We remain open so that we can continue to provide service essential services to all of our customers. If you need help, you can schedule a service call with our Commercial team or call us at (505) 761-9644.