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7 Ways to Reduce HVAC Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings

It’s no secret that heating and cooling commercial buildings can be expensive. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that HVAC systems typically account for about 35% of a building’s total energy consumption. Thankfully, even small changes can make a big impact on HVAC energy consumption in commercial buildings. Read on for our top seven energy-saving tips for commercial HVAC systems.

1. Optimize thermostat settings

No matter what type of HVAC system you have, you can start saving energy right now by optimizing your thermostat settings. While maintaining a steady temperature year-round can be convenient, it’s best to adjust your thermostat as the seasons change. For maximum energy savings, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting thermostats to 68°F during heating months and 78°F during cooling months. 

2. Be mindful of sunlight

If your building gets lots of sun exposure, be mindful of how the sun’s rays can impact interior temperatures. During heating months, keep draperies and shades open on south-facing windows to draw in additional warmth. Similarly, close shades when possible during cooling months to block out excess heat.

3. Check for leaks

Leaky windows and ductwork can be easy to overlook, but these inefficiencies can really add up when it comes to your HVAC energy consumption. Regularly inspect your ductwork, vents, windows and doors for leaks and drafts to ensure you don’t lose any treated air throughout your building. 

4. Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats save energy by allowing you to set daily and weekly temperature schedules. For example, if your building is typically empty during nights and weekends, you can program your thermostat to be higher or lower during these times to save energy. By simply adjusting your thermostat seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit away from its normal setting for eight hours a day, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.

5. Create a zoned system

In many cases, commercial buildings can be partitioned into distinct zones that require different temperatures. For example, storage areas that are accessed only a few times a week can tolerate more extreme temperatures than, say, an office space that is used daily in the same building. By installing a zoned HVAC system, you can reduce your HVAC energy consumption by optimizing temperatures throughout your building.

6. Change your HVAC air filter regularly

Dirty air filters can increase your HVAC energy usage by 5 to 15% by restricting air flow and reducing the overall efficiency of your machine. Air filters should be replaced monthly, though every three months is acceptable in some cases. A qualified HVAC service partner can ensure your filters are changed regularly as part of a preventative maintenance program.

7. Replace or upgrade inefficient HVAC equipment

Like any other type of equipment, commercial HVAC systems have suggested lifespans. Pushing your HVAC system past its suggested lifespan can cause undue wear and tear and, ultimately, cause your machine to become more inefficient. If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, Energy Star recommends getting an upgrade. By installing a new high-efficiency unit, you can expect to save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.

Maximize your commercial HVAC energy savings

There are many ways to reduce HVAC energy consumption in commercial buildings, from simple thermostat adjustments to full system retrofits. For most businesses, working with a trusted commercial HVAC service partner is the best way to ensure your HVAC system is running at peak efficiency. 

At TCMS, we provide comprehensive HVAC preventative maintenance programs, end-to-end system inspections, energy-efficient equipment upgrades and more. Our qualified technicians are ready to work with you to improve your energy efficiency and save money. Get in touch with us today to get a free quote.