If April showers bring May flowers, then May flowers bring the cooling season. Yes, it’s already that time of year again. Cooling season is on the horizon, and equipment maintenance is top of mind for operational leaders. But don’t sweat it because IoT is here to save the day. A connected facility can transform equipment and energy management.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average commercial building in the United States spends about $1.51 per square foot on cooling costs. For a small business with three to four rooftop units, that translates to an average cost of $15 to $20 per day. To beat the heat (and not to mention the financial pinch), here are four ways to cut cooling costs.
1. Program thermostats
Smart thermostats are a game changer for business owners. You can save money if you know when your cooling needs peak and trough. Having up to eight time periods is optimal. Eight might seem like overkill, but remember—the cooling season is a battle of kilowatt-hours and every second counts. Even 24/7 operators can make micro-adjustments throughout the day to save one to two hours of cooling time. And remember—the temperature is for guests, not staff. EPA studies show that every degree adds two to three percent to your cooling costs. In addition, if you have internet-connected thermostats via an energy management system, some technologies, such as Open Kitchen and SiteSage, are capable of coordinating HVAC cycling to reduce demand charges on your electricity bills.
2. Transition to proactive monitoring and maintenance
Transitioning to proactive monitoring and maintenance saves time and money, plus keeps employees and customers comfortable. A connected facility monitors every HVAC unit’s energy usage and temperature to help maintenance technicians make preventative repairs while onsite for seasonal checkups.
For example, Open Kitchen and SiteSage use text and email messages to alert staff about equipment issues. These insights eliminate the need for costly repeat visits and prevent units from malfunctioning at inopportune times. These solutions also offer control over lighting and other equipment, which leads to lower energy expenses, maintenance costs, and overall equipment downtime.
3. Use fix lists
HVAC ‘fix lists’ prioritize the most urgent issues that contribute to comfort problems for customers. Solutions like Open Kitchen and SiteSage even offer color-coded alerts. For example, red indicates issues that need attention immediately, while yellow provides long-term visibility into problems that may not require immediate attention. As a result, operations leaders can identify, prioritize, and repair issues before they cause failure.
4. Consider air and surface purification systems
Air purification is crucial in stopping the spread of Covid-19 and many other viruses. Purification solutions, like Bluezone, kill more than 99 percent of viruses, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants in indoor spaces by utilizing ultraviolet-enhanced oxidation technology to purify the air. An additional benefit is that Bluezone can be integrated and controlled with Open Kitchen or SiteSage.
Are you Interested in how IoT can help during the unpredictability of the cooling season? Email one of our experts to start a conversation.