Heating and Cooling Tips for Businesses

Establish a preventative maintenance program for your heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and systems.

Man Running Maintenance on HVAC

Regular Maintenance 

  • Change or clean all air filters, preferably every month.
  • Clean all heat exchange surfaces, water and refrigerant coils, condensers and evaporators.
  • Repair leaks in piping, air ducts, coils, fittings and at the unit(s).
  • Replace defective equipment insulation, ducting and piping.
  • When replacing air conditioning units of five tons or greater, purchase units with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 10.5 or more to reduce operating costs for the life of the unit. Ensure that your contractor performs a "Manual N" calculation to select a properly sized system based on your building load characteristics and specific occupancy needs.
  • When old motors fail, replace them with premium efficiency motors that operate at a lower annual cost. Ensure you specify the proper sized motor for the application.
  • Install variable speed drives (VSDs) on large motor loads, where appropriate, to further reduce energy usage.
  • Use outside air and water side-economizers for "free cooling" when outside air temperatures and conditions permit - during the spring and fall. 
  • In facilities with older chillers, consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient units that operate at or below .60 kilowatts per ton.
  • Lower operating costs with high efficiency HVAC equipment. Save on the upfront costs with InvestSmart with JEA heating and cooling rebates.  

Temperature Control

  • Set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature for your business. Adjust thermostats higher when cooling and lower when heating an occupied building or unoccupied areas within a building, e.g., during weekends and non-working hours.
    • During warmer weather, set your A/C at 78 degrees during business hours and 85 degrees during non-business hours. Adjusting your thermostat setting up one degree typically can save 2-3 percent on cooling costs.
    • During colder weather, set your heather at 68 degrees during business hours and 55-60 degrees during non-business hours.  
  • Adjust your dress code during hot weather months. Allow workers to wear comfortable clothing to stay cool. It makes little sense to keep a room cold enough that workers must wear suits and coats. 
  • Consider installing locking devices on thermostats to maintain desired temperature settings.
  • Install programmable thermostats that automatically adjust temperature settings based on the time of day and day of the week. If you have multiple HVAC units, set thermostats to return to the occupied temperature a half an hour apart.
  • In larger facilities with energy management systems (EMS), verify that temperature set points and operating schedules are correct for the controlled equipment. For EMS systems that no longer operate as initially designed, consider a retro-commissioning project to restore the system's functionality.
  • Use ceiling fans to keep air moving throughout your office. Fans can make it feel at least four degrees cooler so the thermostat can be set warmer.
  • Plant shade trees on south and west facing sides of the building to block sunlight. 

Insulation Measures

  • Make sure all weather stripping on exterior doors and windows seal well. 
    • Consider installing an energy recovery unit where conditioned air is exhausted to the outside from spaces such as restrooms.
    • Make sure there is sufficient wall and ceiling insulation.
    • Install insulated double pane windows.
    • Install low-emissivity coatings to windows, a thin transparent coating of silver or tin oxide on the glass surface or on a suspended plastic film which lets short-wavelength sunlight pass through, but blocks longer-wavelength heat radiation.
    • Keep exterior and freight doors closed as much as possible, especially on refrigerated docks.   
    • Make sure dock seals are in good operating condition and that personnel are trained on their proper use. 
    • Install blinds, drapes, shutters, or window film to prevent heat loss and heat gain. Save on upfront costs with InvestSmart with JEA window film rebates