How to Control Air Conditioning Costs
In the UK, air-conditioning, heating and hot water account for 60 percent of our energy expenditure. These areas offer tremendous opportunities for very real savings as well as great opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of the home or business. Reducing the home or business heating and air-conditioning expense requires some discipline, regular maintenance and might require a few system improvements, but the return on investment is substantial and healthy.
Homes and buildings that are energy efficient appreciate in value at much more rapid rates than do homes or businesses that have antiquated heating and cooling systems. The problem for many businesses and homes begins with the system and structure design. With some modest improvement to these areas, you can be on your way to substantial savings and a healthier home or business environment.
Evaluate Your Heating-Cooling System – Inefficient motors are responsible for unnecessary energy consumption. If your heating and/or cooling system is outdated, you will never achieve maximum efficiency. For qualified applicants, there are government incentives to improve your system. There are other measures that can reduce your consumption and that should be in place but if your system is inefficient, you are fighting an uphill battle.
Insulation – You can reduce energy use by keeping the cold air out during winter months and keeping the cool air in during summer months. The government is also offering incentives for improving your insulation rating. Many UK homes are improperly insulated and this causes billions of pounds of unnecessary consumption every year.
Improve Ventilation – Good ventilation is essential for health and lower energy demands. Ventilation protects the structure from condensation that can create dangerous mold or other unhealthy conditions. In the UK, poor ventilation accounts for 30 percent of heat loss in commercial buildings and 25 percent in industrial buildings.
Install De-stratification Fans – For commercial or industrial buildings with high ceilings and air heaters, de-stratification fans can reduce energy consumption by about 20 percent by simply blowing warm air to the ground level. These fans are easy to install, provide better circulation and get the heat where it is intended to be.
Notes About Air Conditioning
Do not underestimate the carbon emissions caused by air conditioning. Air conditioning can increase a building’s carbon emissions by as much as 100 percent. Use timed settings to ensure that the discipline of reducing the temperature during cooler hours is in place.
When necessary, deploy variable speed fans to improve ventilation. This step alone can reduce the strain on the system’s motors and extend the life of the cooling unit.In many of today’s buildings, air conditioning is not an option but a necessity. The sooner we learn to control our energy expenses, the healthier our planet will be and the stronger our economy will be.
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