Energy Saving Options in New Commercial AC Units

Energy Saving Options in New Commercial AC Units on

Employees complaining about the south Florida heat? Could it be your air conditioning unit?

Commercial air conditioning systems have evolved significantly over the past two decades. While you may think stinking with your old unit will save you money, this may not be accurate when you consider the long term energy savings of new A/C units.

If you’re looking for more information about when may be a good time to purchase a new commercial air conditioner, read on for a few key tips.

Quick facts about A/C systems and energy efficiency

Below are a few facts that could help you determine whether it’s the right time to finally pull the trigger on a new commercial A/C unit:

  • Today’s most efficient air conditioners consume roughly 30-50 percent less energy than models that were manufactured in the 1970s.
  • While most people look at an air conditioner that is 10 years old as fairly new, upgrading to today’s technology can save you anywhere between 20-40 percent off of your monthly cooling costs. In south Florida, this can quickly add up to real money.

Tips when purchasing a new A/C unit

Purchasing a new central air conditioning unit doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re shopping for a new system.

  • Pay attention to the EER rating: The energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating is different than seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), and essentially determines how efficiently the unit will run when the weather is at its hottest point throughout the year.
  • Size is important: Size is critical when it comes to a working air conditioning system. If you choose a unit that is too small, it will have to work too hard to cool your facility, which can result in higher electric bills. If your unit is too large, it will cycle on and off much too quickly, which can prevent the system from removing enough humidity from the air. It’s important to know your building’s square footage and consult with a reputable HVAC contractor that is well versed in installing and maintaining commercial A/C units.
  • Be aware of noisy units: While you may be used to the loud noise of your old HVAC system, you likely can purchase a new unit that is much quieter and less distracting for you, your employees, and your customers.

How to gauge the efficiency of a new A/C unit

When you are looking for a new commercial air conditioner, it’s important to research and understand a system’s SEER. This number tells you how much energy a unit must use to produce a certain amount of output. If you have an old system, it may have a SEER rating of just six, if not less.

In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started requiring units to have a SEER rating of 13 at a minimum, which would use 30 percent less energy than a 10 SEER unit.

The most efficient air conditioners on the market today have a SEER rating that is greater than 13, with some units having a SEER rating in excess of 20. As you can see, a 20 SEER unit would be twice as efficient as the aging 10 SEER unit that you may have struggling behind your building.

If your A/C unit isn’t doing its job during the oppressive summer heat in south Florida, it’s time to do something about it. Stop putting off the inevitable, and give the professionals at Signature Air a call today. We can provide a complimentary analysis of your existing system, and offer our advice on how you can save on monthly bills, and make you and your employees more comfortable at the same time. Feel free to reach out to our team at 954-457-4560, or contact us through our online contact form today.

Keep Your Cool! 7 Tips for Staying Cool When Temperatures Heat Up

Keep Your Cool! 7 Tips for Staying Cool When Temperatures Heat Up on

Here are some tactics you may not know about

We may be well into fall, but in south Florida the calendar doesn’t usually mean too much when it comes to the weather. While the majority of the country is digging out their sweaters, we get to stay in shorts. The downside is that even during this time of year, it can still be really warm. If you don’t have a pool to jump into, here are some clever tips that will keep you cool even on the hottest of days:

Eat spicy foods

Yes, you read that right. Have you ever eaten something especially spicy and felt the sweat start forming on your forehead? This is actually a natural reaction from your body to help you cool down. The more you sweat, the cooler you get, so think about getting some takeout from your local Mexican or Indian restaurant.

Breathe like a yogi

Not the bear; someone who practices yoga. Curl your tongue and inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Repeating this breathing exercise can help lower your body temperature in just a few minutes.

Dip your feet

When you’re feeling hot, you may sprinkle cold water on your head or face, but it’s really the other end of your body you should be focusing on. Putting your feet in a bowl of ice cubes and cold water will cool you off fast and also reset your temperature, which will last for hours.

Use your bottles

Sleeping when it’s hot can be challenging, but you can use a hot water bottle to get more shuteye. All you need to do is fill it with cold water and ice cubes and keep it next to you while you slumber. If you don’t have a hot water bottle, freeze plastic bottles, wrap them in a towel, and let them share the bed with you.

Strap on an ice vest

If you have to spend a good portion of your days outside, an ice vest would be a wise investment. This piece of clothing comes with panels that hold re-freezable ice sheets, so it will keep you cool for many hours.

Brew some tea

Step one: Brew up some mint or peppermint tea and put it in the refrigerator to get nice and chilled. Step two: Get a spray bottle and fill it with the tea. Step three: Spritz yourself when and where you need it. The soothing properties of the tea–along with its coldness–will help you cool off.

Get an air conditioner

Okay, so this isn’t a groundbreaking idea, but to stay cool in your home, a new AC is pretty much your best option. To find the right one for your home, contact Signature Air Conditioning. We carry a variety of makes and models and also provide maintenance and 24-hour service. To avoid having a sweaty holiday season, call Signature Air Conditioning at 954.457.4560 or fill out our online contact form.

How Building Owners Can Better Their Energy Efficiency

How Building Owners Can Better Their Energy Efficiency on

It’s time to get the whole team onboard

If you want to begin saving energy in your building, there are a million ways to start. New technologies can help owners increase competence while lessening consumption, but people are also an essential part of the process. If you truly want to increase a structure’s energy efficiency, it’s important to develop a policy for your building’s occupants that outlines appropriate energy use strategies. By getting everyone onboard, you will benefit the environment while saving some serious cash at the same time!

Offices: Turn the lights off

It may sound obvious, but if your tenants turn the lights off when they leave the office, it can save tons of money and energy. Now, we understand that there may be a good reason for keeping some lights on—such as decreasing the chances of burglary or making a building more attractive to potential renters, but this doesn’t mean that every fixture needs to be on a constant running rotation.

A good control system can take care of much of this for you, though it helps to ensure that your whole team is also on board because, of course, it’s also a viable to save energy during the day. Do all those desk lamps really need to be on? Encouraging tenants to open blinds and re-organize their office spaces to maximize natural light can significantly reduce daytime energy usage, and may also have health benefits for the building’s occupants.

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling systems need to be constantly maintained to ensure that all systems are operating effectively and efficiently. During peak heating and cooling seasons, HVAC filters should be changed or cleaned on a monthly basis. It’s also important for the evaporator and condenser coils on heating and cooling devices to be regularly cleaned and inspected. Don’t neglect to check and repair damaged insulation, as well as making sure areas in front of vents are clear of paper, furniture, and other potentially hazardous objects.

Encouraging building occupants to turn down air conditioners and heating systems when they leave the building is also important in the energy-saving process. Programmable thermostats are also a great way to save energy, as they automatically turn down heating and cooling systems on nights, weekends, and scheduled times when the building will be unoccupied.

Education and Communication

It’s essential that you develop an effective line of communication with your building’s tenants in order to highlight the importance of energy-saving practices. Energy Star’s communications toolkit is one great place to start, though there are many online and in-person resources that can help building owners, companies, and teams educate building users and inhabitants about increasing energy efficiency.

Ensuring that your building’s HVAC units are properly maintained, inspected, and repaired on a regular basis is extremely beneficial. Reducing excess lighting, heating, and cooling during off-peak hours, as well as educating tenants on energy efficient practices while in the office are essential in your sustainability mission.

If you want to learn more about saving energy in your building, or if you need air-conditioning systems repaired, inspected, or installed, contact Signature Air today. As a leader in the industry, we are happy to serve all of your needs!

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Commercial Air Conditioner

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Commercial Air Conditioner on

Don’t ignore these red flags.

As a business owner, you basically have two groups of people you need to make happy. The first is your customers. Obviously, without them, you don’t have a business, so you need to make sure that they’re given quality products and top-notch service. The other pivotal folks you can’t forget about are your employees. You probably wouldn’t be where you are without your dedicated staff behind you.

One of the best ways to ensure that both your customers and employees are content is by providing a comfortable environment for everyone. This means that your place of business has to be welcoming, friendly, and comfortable. And in South Florida, comfortable equals cool. Nobody wants to spend much time in a hot building, so it’s vital that your air conditioning is always working well.

If any of these issues are familiar to you, a replacement is probably in order:

Your business is always hot

Of course, this is the obvious sign that your AC needs to be replaced. If everybody is constantly walking around with a sheen on their foreheads and those incremental thermostat turndowns just don’t seem to be helping, there’s a problem. A repair may do the trick but a replacement may be necessary, especially if…

The AC’s over a decade old

If you are diligent with your maintenance, it’s possible you’ll get a good 20 years or so out of your AC. However, once units reach the 10-year mark – especially if they’ve gotten a lot of use – they start to wear down.

You’re always calling the repair guy

Do you have your AC guy on speed dial because it’s always breaking down? They may only be minor fixes that don’t cost a lot, but if they’re happening constantly, that money can add up quickly. Not to mention the inconvenience.

Your energy bills keep going up

Another sign you need a new unit is when your energy bills start creeping up, even though your usage is the same. This means that it’s just not running as efficiently as it once did, and a new system should probably be put in.

Extensive repairs are needed

A new commercial AC is expensive, so if yours isn’t working well, you may rather pay for a repair. However, if it’s something serious, and even if the cost to get it fixed is less than a new unit, it may make more sense to get the replacement. As the AC ages, chances are you’ll need additional repairs, and at a certain point you’ll just be wasting money.

You owe it to your customers and employees to keep them cool all year long, and if your AC isn’t up for the job, contact Signature Air. We’ll send a pro out to assess the needs of your business and make an expert recommendation for whether repairs are in order, or whether a new system is a good option. Call us at 954.457.4560 or get in touch through our online contact form.

Can Shutting AC Vents in Unused Rooms Save Energy?

Can Shutting AC Vents in Unused Rooms Save Energy? on

Don’t rely on myths to conserve energy when it comes to your air conditioning

If you live in South Florida, you’ve probably been surprised by a high energy bill. And if you grew up here, you may have at one point had someone tell you to shut unused AC vents to save energy. Conserving power and lowering expenses are something we all want to do, especially after being surprised by a higher bill than you were expecting. But is closing vents in unused rooms the way to do it?

The answer is no. It’s a myth. Shutting the vents in a little-used portion of your home isn’t going to save energy if you have modern heating and cooling. Everything in modern HVAC technology is balanced and built the way it is for a reason, and when you close a portion of the system off, it does little good and could throw things out of whack. Doing so could even cause damage, costing you money and headaches to get it repaired.

And anyone who has spent a day without AC in the Florida summer knows that that’s not something you want to happen.

In addition, closing your vents to save energy may actually increase your energy usage. When you block vents, you’re putting pressure on the system and the air could start escaping from, and cooling off, portions of your home that are of no use to you, notably any cracks in the system. This causes your AC to spend more energy than it needs to in order to keep you cool as it tries to adjust to the chosen temperature.

If you want to decrease energy costs, your best bet is to simply lower your thermostat, make sure your house is properly insulated, use standing fans or ceiling fans to circulate the air and help keep you cool, and – if your AC is operating improperly – contact a professional who knows what they’re doing.

An experienced HVAC technician will understand why you may be having problems and will know exactly how to fix it. There isn’t going to be any guesswork in the process, and proper maintenance and repair means you could save money on bigger fixes plus improve efficiency, which are especially important for your wallet when running the AC consistently in South Florida’s heat.

Don’t rely on old wives’ tales to lower your energy expenditures. And depend on an expert to keep your South Florida home cool. Signature Air has been in the business a long time and we know what it takes to keep your system in peak condition at an affordable cost. If you’re looking to save energy and ensure that your AC is working properly, you’re in the right place. Click here to see what we can do for you.