Top 10 Tips: Keeping business energy costs down

Ian Fisher, maintenance manager, Airmaster
Ian Fisher, maintenance manager, Airmaster
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1. Air conditioning is good at heating and is a lot cheaper to run than conventional radiators or hot water systems. You can save up to 40 per cent of your heating bills versus radiators and around 75 per cent against electric heaters - so if it’s installed, use it.

2. Put some thermometers up on the wall. This will help making and justifying adjustments to thermostats when someone complains about the temperature.

3. Don’t set thermostat levels higher or lower than the temperature you want to achieve. This rarely cools or heats space any faster, but will result in excessive energy use. 19c-21c for heating and 23c-25c for cooling are good starting points.

4. Too much air coming in and out is a major cause of the energy waste in nearly every building. Running ventilation is like having windows opened.

5. Most building ventilation systems are based on the building being at full capacity. If you can, turn down ventilation fan speeds low when it’s cold and completely review the time schedules on all ventilation to reflect occupancy.

6. Shave time. Turn systems off half hour before everyone goes. If no one complains, go for more.

7. In winter, AC units or heating can be timed on in the morning. Try turning off AC or heating in the early afternoon to see if the building holds temperature.

8. In summer, AC units should only be turned on manually for cooling when opened windows or ventilation is no longer adequate. Set an off time for the end of the day, then set the ventilation to run for a few hours at around midnight. This will remove heat and refresh the building.

9. Reduce settings or prevent operation of systems in areas which have low or random occupancy. Set meeting rooms to 18c heat or turn the radiator valve a notch lower. Staff can turn it up if they want while in use.

10. Call your service provider and book a maintenance visit. A clean, well looked after system always uses less energy than one where housekeeping has been neglected.