As the provider of a smart heating and air conditioning controller, you might think we’re predisposed to promoting mechanical cooling this time of year. And while we’re thankful for AC, particularly during the dog days of summer, conservation (of time, energy and money) is our North Star. With that being the case, we’ve compiled a handful of tips to help keep your building occupants cool without total dependence on air conditioning.
Dozens of studies show what most of us know instinctively: a breeze creates a cooling effect, allowing us to feel comfortable at elevated temperatures. Whether you employ large overhead circulators or personal/pedestal fans, you’ll enjoy an inexpensive reprieve from the heat.
Maybe “Casual Friday” can be extended to the rest of the week…in the name of conservation, of course. One’s personal thermal insulation (measured in CLO, if you were curious) simply refers to the amount of clothing they have on. Too many layers can trap heat against the body, so consider ditching the coat and tie and leaning into a more casual dress code.
High relative humidity (RH) can make an environment feel even warmer in the summer. Using your dehumidifier to extract moisture from the air can provide a cooling effect for the occupants. (With ENASTAT, you can also use your air conditioner to drop the RH, but that feels somewhat antithetical to the topic of this blog.)
Remove/Replace Heat Sources
The thermal load of certain equipment can contribute to hotter temperatures. If possible, remove the devices from highly populated areas. Over time, replace your outdated, less efficient equipment with cooler running alternatives.
The sun’s thermal energy can be wonderful in the winter; in the summer, it’s a different story. You can’t make large trees suddenly appear, but you can leverage blinds and window treatments to block some of the sunlight.
If you have exhaust fans and a ventilation system, you can swap the warmer indoor air for cooler night/morning air. It’s a much less expensive alternative to mechanically conditioning the air, and can even create healthier indoor air quality.
Nobody’s going to blame you for running your air conditioning in the heat of summer — it’s why it’s there! But, you may be able to reduce your run time, your operating expenses and the wear and tear on your system by adopting some of these simple tactics. Who knows, you might even make a few fans by creating Hawaiian shirt day. Happy cooling!