Depending on the size and type of your office, shop or site, mechanical cooling can cause significant costs and emissions, as air conditioning consumes vast amounts of electricity. Reducing your demand for cooling will therefore not only save money but can help decarbonise your operations substantially.
There are two major ways to reduce your cooling and heating demand: Improvements to your building/unit/office and behaviour change.
Improvements to your building or unit can be as little or as big as they need to be. Some of it will have to be done by the owner of the building, some of it can be done by tenants.
Especially for locations with big windows and lots of direct sunlight shading is vital to reduce over-heating in the summer months. Make sure it’s flexible, so you can benefit from direct sunlight in the mornings or winter months. External shading is more effective than internal.
Upgrade mechanical cooling system
Experts can help you to identify the most efficient system for your needs. It might be a good idea to combine heating and cooling in an efficient air conditioning system. You might combine this with the installation of renewable energy generation on your site. Remember that air conditioning is most effective when windows and doors remain closed.
Installing more energy efficient windows can not only help keep heat in (in winter), but also keep heat out (in summer). This is often achieved by reflecting layers on glass. When installing new windows you might also want to consider the ventilation of your space: Do you allow users to open windows individually or would it be more effective to automate ventilation.
It can seem counter-intuitive, as we associate insulation with keeping places warm, but particularly in a loft or roof touching ceiling, insulation can really help you keep heat out during hot days.
Fostering the right behaviour in your staff, members or even customers will help you safe energy and money.
Keep doors and windows shut: Control your ventilation either by using a mechanical ventilation system or briefing your staff in the right ways of manually ventilating your space. In the hot season, windows should not be opened when it’s more than 24C outside.
‘Close the Door’ is a campaign that provides advice for retailers: