Business Sustainability

Optimise your HVAC and refrigeration for big savings

B2B Editor15 March 2016

Optimise your HVAC and refrigeration for big savings

Keeping costs under control and saving money. It’s what smart businesses do, so here’s some advice. If you operate a business (outside the home), have fewer than 10 full-time equivilant staff or electricity bills under $20,000 (incl GST), it’s worth exploring Actsmart’s Small Business Energy and Water program.

Actsmart will provide your business with a FREE energy and water assessment and give you a report on how to save money. Better still, Actsmart offers a rebate of up to $5,000, on a 50-50 cost basis, to help you upgrade inefficient equipment. This includes heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, lighting and hot water heating systems. It’s worth acting, especially since HVAC systems often account for most of your annual energy bill. Our expert assessors will tailor their report to your needs. In the meantime, here are easy-to-apply tips for saving money:

1. Set your thermostat appropriately. This means 18oC to 20oC in winter and 24oC to 26oC in summer. Save up to 10% in heating and cooling bills for each 1oC you increase your thermostat setting in summer and each 1oC you decrease it in winter.

2. Wear clothing appropriate for the season. Wear multiple layers in winter and light, loose clothing in summer.

3. Ensure your HVAC controls are set and working properly:

* Adjust automatic start times to reach the desired temperature only shortly before people arrive to avoid heating or cooling unoccupied spaces.

* Turn heating or cooling off during weekends and holidays.

* Do not heat or cool unused areas.

4. Keep systems clean and well maintained to prevent inefficient operation and breakdowns.

5. Replace old HVAC equipment with new systems. A huge 30% savings is common with upgraded equipment and you’ll be more comfortable too.

If you use commercial refrigeration, you can reduce bills by running

equipment as efficiently as possible:

1. Install night blinds on open display units and make sure you use them.

2. Install timers on non-perishable drinks fridges to turn them off overnight. This can save 25% or more of your electricity consumption.

3. Set thermostats for the contents in your fridge.

4. Keep your outside condenser unit clean, well ventilated and regularly

5. Ensure your inside evaporator is free of ice, that the fans work properly,
and that door seals are in good condition.

6. Check compressor unit cycle times. If running more than 60% of the time there could be a problem you need to address.

7. Replace old compressors (especially belt driven). Replacing them can save 30% of energy consumed and operating costs.

Andrew Bell ACT-logo

For more tips, information and resources visit the Actsmart Sustainability Hub ( and follow us on:
Facebook: Actsmart – Canberra Twitter: @SustainableCBR
Contact number: 13 22 81
Email: [email protected]
Actsmart – helping your business make changes for a sustainable future.