Maintain your HVAC system regularly
A well-maintained and regularly serviced air conditioning system will be more efficient and less likely to breakdown and malfunction.
Electrical equipment such as printers and faxes generate heat, so these should not be placed near temperature sensors to avoid false temperature readings and consequent over-cooling.
Energy consumption due to HVAC systems can increase by up to 30% if regular maintenance is not undertaken. A regularly serviced boiler can save as much as 10% on annual heating costs.
Always make sure the system is switched off before any inspection. If there's a lockable AC switch, make sure it's switched to 'off' before carrying out any maintenance. When you are confident that the system is switched off, the main things you should check are:
- Corrosion and dirt. Fan casings should be free from corrosion and dirt. Bolts and fastenings should be secure. Any flexible connections to ductwork should be secure and undamaged.
- Fan impellers. These must be free from cracks, corrosion, erosion, dust build-up and damage. Keyways and fastenings should be secure. The impeller should not move on its shaft.
- Fan bearings. Lubricate fan bearings and make sure they are in good condition. If there are any signs of overheating, dilution or overuse - repair or replace immediately.
- Belt drives. Check for correct tension and any signs of wear or fraying. The alignment of drive pulleys should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification. Pulleys should be secure on their shafts.
- Obstructions. All system elements should be clean and free from obstruction, both inside and outside the building. Check that air inlets and exhaust vents are free from obstruction.
Boilers should be serviced regularly by a reputable firm; gas-fired boilers should be serviced once a year; oil boilers twice a year. Ensure that condensing and evaporating devices are clean, well maintained, and are not obstructed.
You can consult your equipment supplier for further guidance.
How did we calculate this?
On average, heating and cooling accounts for 36% of energy use in small to medium businesses. An average Victorian SME emits 107.3 tCO2e per year, so heating and cooling accounts for 0.36 x 107.3 = 38.6 tCO2e per year. If a typical SME can save, say 10%, then this equates to 0.1 x 38.6 = 3.86 tCO2e = 3,860 kgCO2e per year.
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