by Zona on May 13, 2016

How to Prepare Your Business' Workplace for the Hot Summer Months Ahead

There are little things as miserable as coming to work only to sweat throughout the day. However, for many workplaces today, corporate growth combined with outdated buildings means many employees must endure exactly that.

cleaning-the-outdoor-AC-unit-4Of course, as a business owner it can be tough to find the time to take care of everything that needs to get accomplished in a day. Often, this means that issues of appliance repair, upgrades and efficiency end up on the back burner until it is too late.

In this post, learn how to prepare your business's workplace for the hot summer months now, while there is still time to plan for a cool summer for all.

Re-Evaluating Your Air Conditioning Needs

Today, much more is known about how to gain the greatest cooling effect for the lowest energy output. From Energy Star-certified HVAC units to weather-proofing maintenance and repairs, many business owners are shocked to discover just how much money they save on cooling and heating post-evaluation.

Of course, it can be challenging to set aside the time to address these issues when there are sales to be made and employees to manage. This means that often, it is best to put these types of overhead/expense-related issues on the calendar during a traditionally slower business period and as far in advance as possible.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are certain key signs that indicate it may be near time to replace your current air conditioning unit with a high-efficiency air conditioner that uses less energy and produces better results.

Here are some of the most common signs to watch out for:

  • Your current a/c unit is more than a decade old.
  • Your current a/c unit is not Energy Star certified.
  • Your current a/c unit does not have the option of a programmable thermostat, even on an after-market basis.
  • You keep making repairs, and your a/c unit keeps needing more repairs.
  • You are spending more on monthly energy costs to get the same results.
  • You hear strange sounds when your a/c kicks on.
  • Your building is hot in some rooms and cold in others.
  • Your building is more humid no matter how much you run the a/c.
  • Employees are beginning to complain about dust and allergy symptoms that begin when they arrive at work.

If any or all of these conditions are present or have become more prevalent, they can affect workplace satisfaction and productivity, as well as employee health and absences due to illness.

As well, it is a safe bet that you are paying more each month for energy bills than you need to be paying - maybe up to 50 percent more!

What is "High Efficiency Air Conditioning," Anyway?

Simply put, a high efficiency air conditioner is a unit that does the same work but uses much less energy to do it with.

All Energy Star-certified, a/c units, can be considered high efficiency since they guarantee at least a 20 percent increase in cooling efficiency. Still, some high-efficiency units can produce up to a 50 percent increase in efficiency without increasing energy costs one dime (in fact, energy costs often go down once these units are up and running).

In general, the higher the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating, the greater the efficiency.

Calculating Your Energy Savings

Not only is moving towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient workplace great for community, customer and investor public relations, but it can also save you lots of cash.

replacing-your-air-filter-5According to Energy Star, the average business (size not specified) saves anywhere from 2 to 10 percent annually on their energy use costs. These savings are concurrent with the improvement in sustainability, which can be up to 35 percent depending on the business and local climate.

Just as well, tenanted properties and hotels offering more efficient cooling report higher occupancy rates, retail establishments also report higher sales.

A simple calculation can be done to determine your potential cost savings by switching to a high efficiency workplace cooling unit:

  • Take your annual energy costs now.
  • Calculate what 98 percent of that bill is (representing a 2 percent cost savings).
  • Calculate what 90 percent of that bill is (representing a 10 percent cost savings).

Now take a look at that savings range and imagine what you could spend the saved cash on to grow your business!

Other Workplace Preparations to Make Before Summer Arrives

In addition to making an upgrade to your air conditioning system, there are some additional preparations you can make to maximize the efficiency gains you receive.

Weatherize your building.

By re-sealing windows, making weatherstripping repairs, switching to energy-efficient window coverings (draperies, blinds), sealing up air leaks and insulating air ducts, you can ensure all the cool air your air conditioner is pumping out stays inside your building.

install-ceiling-fansKeep your air filters clean.

Be sure to change or clean your air filters according to the manufacturer's instructions so your air conditioning unit won't have to work harder than required to produce the desired air flow.

Use fans for better ventilation and air circulation.

The use of ceiling and/or floor fans can improve ventilation and provide better whole-office cooling, especially in add-on areas that may currently be underserved by the existing duct system.

Program the office thermostat with care.

Be sure you have programmed your workplace's thermostat to reflect periods of high and low employee occupancy. Do an audit of your after-hours, weekend days and holidays air conditioning system to be sure it reflects your efficiency goals.

By taking a bit of time now to evaluate how well your workplace a/c unit is working to keep your workplace and employees cool and comfortable, you can plan ahead for a more comfortable and a more productive summer!

For AC improvements before the summer in Indianapolis, IN call Griesemer Plumbing & Mechanical Service at (317) 881-9536.

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