Top Tips to Keep Air Conditioning Costs Low
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Even as summer winds down, temperatures are reaching record highs. Places all over the world are experiencing unprecedented heat and with it, sometimes unprecedented costs for keeping cool. Property owners everywhere have to make tough choices, but cost versus comfort should never be one. Neyer Real Estate Management and Neyer’s Building Solutions Group are here to help make those choices easy. Our certified HVAC technicians are capable, passionate, detail-oriented and ready to help with all your HVAC needs. Besides working with our talented team, here is what you can do right now to beat the heat and keep costs down.
First, check on your windows. If your property has old windows, they may not be as energy efficient as they could be and modifying or replacing them will definitely help. Installing new energy-efficient windows might feel expensive upfront, but you will make up for it over time in HVAC costs. Your existing windows, no matter how new they are, may also need to be sealed. Leaks or cracks can be caulked, and weather strips will help prevent cool air from sneaking out. You only want to air condition your property, not the whole block! Keeping a close eye on your windows is an easy way to keep your AC more efficient, and therefore, less expensive.
Reducing the sunlight that enters your building may also help to keep it cooler. Planting shade trees outside of windows offers a lovely view and keeps it much more temperate inside. For a faster and more temporary solution, consider blinds or curtains. It is important to make sure that blinds or curtains are drawn in unoccupied spaces too. If the room is not in use, closing it off means that your system is cooling a smaller space, and keeping the blinds drawn in empty rooms lowers the temperature easily!
You may want to look into restructuring the way your property’s HVAC is controlled. The Department of Energy suggests that property owners can expect to save 10% of their HVAC costs by adjusting the temperature just 7-10 degrees overnight. If no one is in the office or property, why pay to cool it? Programmable thermostats can be cost-effective and convenient. Some are even controllable through mobile applications, while others allow you to just “set it and forget it”.
Additionally, remember that AC is not the only way to stay cool! Ceiling fans help air move throughout your space and provide refreshing breezes. Desk and box fans can help employees stay comfortable even if they are more sensitive to the heat than their coworkers.
If your property has an attic, you need to insulate that too. Windows are not the only place in a property that cool air can get out and hot air can get in! Walls and crawl spaces also leak cool air. In the winter, these vulnerabilities work in the opposite way, and you end up losing heat too! Older properties need more attention when it comes to insulation, but if heating and cooling costs feel like they are getting out of hand, even a new building can use a checkup. Though you will probably want to work with a professional, you may be able to use a thermal camera first to detect if you are losing warm or cool air. Attachments are available for your mobile phone! Neyer Management’s Building Solutions group may be able to help determine which areas of your property need insulation overhaul, and can help complete the project in the way Neyer is known for – safe, clean, and reliable!
Property owners may be able to finance these money-saving and energy efficient projects through C-PACE funding. C-PACE is the commercial wing of the government’s property assessed clean energy programs. It is a process by which property owners and tenants commit to projects that reduce properties’ energy use, which is good both for the environment and the bottom line, and pay for the work via property tax assessment. PACE improvements are available in Ohio and Kentucky, as well as more than 25 other US states. PACE Calculators are available online to help determine just how good PACE can be for you and your property, and Neyer’s team is also always available as a resource for charting your property’s best path forward. To learn more about PACE improvement funding, visit the Department of Energy’s website, and stay tuned for an upcoming Neyer Management Blog posting about PACE from the property management perspective.
Further solutions to beat the heat and save on AC depend on your property or business’s unique situation. If you are manufacturing, cooking or doing other processes that release heat, consider shifting the times that other people are expected to be in the building. If no one objects, giving the AC a break and opening windows for a natural breeze may also offer relief. Of course, make sure everyone has access to cold water – staying hydrated is just as important as staying cool in the summer heat.
Neyer’s Property Management team can also help you assess if any of these improvements may be amortized back to the building’s tenants as operating costs. Since the savings realized through increased efficiency will inure to the tenants in a net leased building, many leases contemplate tenants sharing in the costs of making these improvements. Neyer’s lease administration team and property managers will analyze your leases and provide an overview of cost sharing opportunities.
Your HVAC is working hard this summer. Neyer Real Estate Management’s experienced expert Property Managers and certified HVAC technicians are ready to work hard too. With leadership from Property Managers and detail-oriented services from Neyer’s Building Solutions Group, it is easy to determine how your property can be adapted for the hot summer months. Follow these tips to keep your property comfortable, and your HVAC running smoothly, and another one of the challenges of property ownership can “melt” away while you stay “cool”!