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10 ways to keep your business cool and energy-efficient

As the temperatures soar and summers become hotter than ever, it’s crucial for businesses to find effective ways to stay cool while reducing energy usage and costs. There are ways to avoid or minimise the need for air conditioning. 

If you need building-specific advice, the ESOx team of energy efficiency experts can help identify the most beneficial short- and long-term measures, helping you invest wisely in low-carbon technology.

1. Improve insulation

Yes, insulation is not just for winter, but also for when it gets hot. Improve the insulation in walls, ceilings, and roofs to minimise heat transfer from outside. 

2. Seal air leaks

Identify and seal any air leaks around windows, doors, and ventilation systems. Unwanted air leakage can let warm air in and cool air out.

3. Natural ventilation

If external temperatures are higher than internal ones, ask staff to keep windows and doors shut. Purge internal hot air first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, when external air temperatures cool. 

4. Implement shading techniques

Use blinds, curtains, or window films to block direct sunlight and reduce heat gain, or on the outside of buildings install brise soleil louvres above windows. Consider planting trees or large shrubs to provide natural shade. Trees reduce the ambient temperature beneath them through their evaporative cooling process.

5. Use energy-efficient equipment and lighting

When replacing or upgrading systems, choose models that produce less waste heat. In areas that are intensively lit, LED lighting can significantly reduce the heat created from bulbs.

For businesses that do have air-conditioning:

6. Install programmable thermostats

Upgrade to programmable thermostats that allow you to set temperature schedules based on occupancy patterns. This prevents unnecessary cooling when the space is unoccupied, saving energy and reducing costs.

7. Optimise air conditioning settings

Set the temperature of your air conditioning system at an optimal level (around 24-26°C) for a balance between comfort and energy efficiency. Avoid setting it too low, as it can significantly increase energy consumption.

8. Regular maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment to ensure it operates at peak efficiency. Clean or replace filters, check for refrigerant leaks, and inspect the overall system performance to avoid any energy wastage.

9. Bring employees onboard

Encourage employees to adopt energy-saving habits, such as keeping windows closed if air conditioning is on, using fans for personal cooling, and turning off unnecessary lights and equipment. 

10. Designating responsibility

Ensure someone within your organisation has responsibility for heating and cooling settings and understands them.

By implementing these measures, your business can stay cool during the hot summer months while reducing energy usage and cost. Embracing energy-efficient cooling practices not only benefits your bottom line but also contributes to a greener and more sustainable future.

The time to act is now

Many of these measures listed above are quick wins that will help make your business more resilient, reduce your energy costs, cut carbon emissions, and demonstrate to customers, partners, and the public your commitment to the fight against climate change. 

For more advice, and to find out how to get started, download our free Workplace Energy Efficiency Checklist for your business in Oxfordshire, or get in touch with our team of experts!