Top 7 tips to reduce your heating bill

PG&E
100 Dollar bills

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consumes approximately 40% of a building’s electricity. In fact, it’s one of the most significant factors in the operating expenses of a business. That’s why it pays to pinpoint HVAC energy waste and reduce it. Here are 7 common proven ways to help your business become more energy efficient and control costs.


Tip #1: Carefully assess the area around each vent for proper ventilation.

Is air flowing from the vent circulating freely throughout the room? If there are obstructions that prevent adequate airflow, such as cabinetry or drapes, move them to allow for clear circulation. Don’t keep vents closed as an effort to save energy. Doing so can change the way air is distributed and cause an imbalance to the operation of the HVAC system.


Tips #2: Prevent dust and dirt from building up.

Replace air filters (or clean them if they’re reusable) monthly, especially during peak heating and cooling seasons. Keeping air filters clean can prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system. When dirt builds up, it can lead to expensive maintenance repairs or the need for a new system. Watch for filters that gather excessive dust. This may be a sign of potential leaks in the duct system.


Tip 3: Make sure all the ducts that run throughout your building have duct sealant or metal-backed (foil) tape over the seams and connections.

You can work with a contractor to wrap the ducts in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. It’s now possible for contractors to perform verified duct sealing using a special fan to test duct system leakage before and after sealing efforts have been made.


Tip #4: Implement a consistent HVAC maintenance schedule

You can switch to PG&E’s Commercial HVAC Quality Maintenance Program. Businesses that switch to the program can save up to $500 per year per unit in operating, servicing and repair costs. Even customers who already follow a regular check-based plan can save up to $260 per year per unit. Plus, you can earn incentives of up to $3,836 per unit when you enroll.


Tips #5: Use heat-recovery technology to transfer energy from exhaust air to incoming outside air.

This greatly reduces the energy that’s required to heat or cool incoming air. A qualified contractor can educate customers on available recovery technologies. For example, an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) can be a suitable solution for maintaining comfortable temperature, depending on area location and climate.


Tip #6: Install advanced control sensors to improve a ventilation system’s operating power for energy efficiency.

These controls can count the number of people in a room and then adjust the heat and air conditioning accordingly. When the sensors are integrated into a building’s HVAC system, the advanced controls can reduce energy use by almost 40%.


Tip 7: Replace your old, worn-out HVAC

If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance you’re spending too much to heat and cool your building. Have a professional contractor give your HVAC system a checkup and see if you should upgrade to high-efficiency ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment.


Reduce your energy costs with these quick tips. To learn additional best practices, download our eBook: How to get the best results from a light or HVAC project (PDF, 4.5 MB).