It’s been a long, hot summer, but fall is coming to South Jersey! Cool, damp days are on their way, harbingers of winter. It’s time to prepare buildings for cold weather.
Savvy property managers and building owners are a step ahead of the weather. They are taking action now to get their buildings ready for seasonal changes. Being proactive means saving money and eliminating headaches in the future!
Here are 6 important actions to take to prepare buildings for cold weather – and WHY these actions will benefit you.
ONE: Conduct Seasonal Maintenance
The Department Of Energy, (DOE) reports that commercial buildings in the U.S. spend more than 100 BILLION dollars on energy costs annually with 40% of that cost going toward energy consumption of HVAC equipment!
Did you know that the DOE also says that routine, proper maintenance improves HVAC efficiency by up to 20%? The more efficient your equipment, the less energy it uses and the more you save on utility bills.
You can see why it’s so important that equipment is well maintained and operating at peak efficiency no matter what the weather is outside.
Routine checkups and seasonal maintenance are essential.
As the seasons change, commercial building managers face the critical task of ensuring that their building is prepared for cold weather. The best way to do that is to schedule your Fall HVAC appointment with Elite Heating and Air Conditioning now. A Fall inspection includes cleaning filters, checking for leaks and refrigerant levels lubricating moving parts, and calibrating thermostats.
TWO: Prepare Buildings for Cold Weather by Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Systems
Sometimes, just checking your equipment is not enough. To adequately prepare your building for cold weather, property managers must do more.
One of the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption and prepare HVAC systems for seasonal changes is to upgrade to energy-efficient equipment. If your equipment is aging, you might consider replacing it, upgrading it, or retrofitting it to make it more energy-efficient. HVAC systems are designed to be more energy-efficient and can result in significant cost savings over time. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that upgrading systems can result in a 30% reduction of energy consumption in commercial buildings.
Here’s really good news!
Yes, there is a cost associated with upgrades and retrofits; however, you can recoup some of those costs with reduced utility bills. In addition, state and federal tax credits are available for businesses that invest in energy-efficient equipment.
THREE: Implement Smart HVAC Controls and Building Automation Systems (BAS)
The integration of smart HVAC controls is becoming increasingly popular among commercial building managers. These systems use advanced algorithms and sensors to optimize HVAC operation in real time, responding to changing weather conditions and occupancy levels.
A study by the Building Commissioning Association found that buildings with smart HVAC controls can reduce energy consumption by an average of 20% compared to traditional systems.
Smart controls allow for remote monitoring and adjustments, making it easier for building managers to ensure that HVAC systems are operating efficiently throughout the year.
Take those smart controls a step further by investing in a Building Automation System. A Building Automation System pulls in data from other sources, like weather reports, and allows building owners to be proactive in adjusting temperatures for climate changes.
But a Building Automation System (BAS) controls so much more than the HVAC!
A BAS can monitor space usage. If no one has been in a room, the lights can be turned off and the temperature can be raised or lowered. It can hook up to alarm systems, electrical data, and power meters to monitor and control energy use.
Those adjustments save you big bucks!
FOUR: Optimize Insulation to Prepare Buildings for Cold Weather
Whether you have a commercial crew, a full-time staff member, or you do it yourself, building maintenance should include an annual evaluation of its insulation.
A well-insulated building is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. The better the insulation is, the less your HVAC has to work.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that improving building insulation can reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling by 20% or more.
Optimizing building insulation may mean insulating areas that have never been insulated, upgrading windows and doors, and caulking gaps.
FIVE: Implement Predictive Maintenance
Wouldn’t you like to know when a problem is going to happen? If you knew, then you could prevent it, right?
One of the best ways to prepare commercial buildings for cold weather is to invest in predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance utilizes data analytics and sensors to predict when HVAC equipment is likely to fail. Knowing when a unit is failing allows for proactive repairs or replacements. This approach can save significant costs and reduce downtime.
Implementing predictive maintenance for HVAC systems can reduce maintenance costs by up to 40%. In addition, equipment uptime is increased by 10% to 20%.
Talk about happy tenants! If you never have a heating or air conditioning problem because you’ve prevented it from occurring, your tenants are bound to be satisfied.
SIX: Train Staff and Occupants
Getting ready for cold weather may mean educating your staff and your building occupants on best practices for seasonal HVAC use.
Plan an in-person teaching session. Create a chart. Send out a detailed email.
Figure out a way to train staff and occupants on energy-saving practices like adjusting thermostats, lowering or raising blinds, and keeping doors and windows closed. One study by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) reports that educated building occupants can reduce energy consumption by up to 20% through behavior changes alone.
Seasons Come. Seasons Go. Elite Heating and Air Conditioning Is Always Here
No matter how hot the summer is, there’s a fall and winter coming behind it.
Prepare buildings for cold weather and seasonal changes through a combination of knowledge, maintenance, technology, and a proactive approach.
Elite Heating and Air Conditioning is here whenever you need us. No matter what season it is!