A building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC systems) is not often top of mind but the money invested in running it is substantial. Understood to consume just under half of the electricity used by an organization, the efficiency, age and overall health of an HVAC system is an ideal place for a business to consider when looking to reduce their environmental footprint and overall operating costs.
Acknowledging that a company’s HVAC system is responsible for almost half of their energy consumption, it is wise for each business owner to have an comprehensive understanding of their systems and the ways small changes could have big environmental and monetary implications.
According to San Francisco based Pacific Gas and Electric, one small change that is guaranteed to have a big impact is the installation and utilization of programmable thermostats. Thermostat efficiency is an easy way to achieve a great impact through the implementation of a low-cost tool and easily implemented changes in policy. Empty buildings do not need to be as cool/warm as buildings filled with employees.
Electric companies maintain that regular maintenance is another key component to ensuring that an HVAC system is not contributing to unnecessary energy waste. Dirty air filters and obstructed outdoor vents cause a HVAC system to slow down, work harder and run less efficiently. Some industry experts suggest that blocked vents can increase the energy used by an HVAC system by one fourth.
Sustainability experts suggest that quality of workmanship and the age of a system play a key role and have a significant impact on an HVAC system’s energy waste. Leaky or improperly insulated ducts can impact the efficiency of a system and result in higher running costs.
In order to avoid unnecessary and ongoing monetary spending, it is imperative for building owners and tenants to pay attention to a facility’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. A high quality, well maintained HVAC system is a wise investment, sure to improve not only the working environment of employees but the bottom line of an organization.