When it comes to running a commercial building, business owners have a lot of factors to consider. Entrepreneurs are advised to have a thorough understanding of the cost of utilities to how well their establishment can function.
When handled properly, commercial space management can help make a company a success.
Two of the most important aspects of a commercial building are ventilation and energy efficiency that affect utilities and performance.
However, the idea of conserving energy and keeping a building well-ventilated can be in initial opposition to one another. That’s why many business owners are left wondering what’s more important, should they invest more in energy efficiency or better ventilation?
The Case for Better Commercial Ventilation
What is ventilation? Simply put, ventilation is the process of exchanging air in a space.
In a commercial setting where ventilation is believed to be highly important, the process involves exchanging impure indoor air with fresh air from the outdoors. This is done to get rid of bad air and replace it with new air.
Additionally, it can help regulate the temperature inside a particular building. Some consider having the best commercial air filtration systems an important part of a commercial property’s ventilation setup.
There are many reasons why a business should invest in better ventilation. Here are some of them:
Switch Bad Air to Clean Air
Since a commercial building houses many people, it makes sense for property owners to be mindful of the air quality especially the presence of airborne contaminants. For instance, when a person sweats, it’s said that they emit urea that can be dangerous in very high concentrations.
If efficient air exchange doesn’t happen often enough, people may experience headaches, respiratory problems, and even nausea from the stagnant bad air inside.
Besides being the cause of personnel discomfort, unregulated air quality can also be a serious health hazard. Hence, it’s recommended to include better commercial ventilation as one of the main considerations for business management.
Aside from being responsible for the exchange of air, ventilation is also important for regulating the temperature inside a building. If the building is too hot, its ventilation system can help lower down the temperature to a manageable level and vice versa.
The Case for Energy Efficiency in Commercial Properties
What does energy efficiency mean for a commercial building?
Energy efficiency is the ability to use less energy to do the same amount of work. To achieve energy efficiency in a commercial space, business owners need to use energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and many more.
Further steps such as ensuring that the building is adequately insulated and sealing off any air leaks so that treated indoor air doesn’t escape are just some building managers are advised to consider.
Why is energy efficiency deemed important for commercial buildings? Read on to learn more.
It Reduces Energy Costs
A building that’s energy-efficient not only uses less electricity but also provides optimum temperature without overworking its own heating and cooling system.
Reducing the energy costs of a building means less money is spent on the overall business operation, which can be a huge boon.
Reduces Carbon Footprint
In addition to saving money on energy costs, being more energy-efficient can also have a positive environmental impact.
Because of the direct correlation between how much energy is used and how much harmful gas is released into the environment, having an efficient building means that there will be fewer amounts of destructive gaseous substances in the air.
Should Commercial Businesses Choose Better Commercial Ventilation Over Energy Efficiency?
So, which is more important for commercial buildings? Ventilation or energy efficiency? The answer is both.
No business should put people’s health and well-being at risk just to achieve an energy-efficient building that’ll save them money in the long term.
At the same time, a business shouldn’t let their energy efficiency rates suffer just in the name of having fresh indoor air.
Instead, companies should use a combination of practices to contribute to quality air and energy efficiency.
Use a Ventilation System That Provides Just the Right Amount of Air While Consuming Less Electricity
There are means to balance better ventilation and energy efficiency in a commercial building. The key to achieving both at the same time for your company’s and other shareholders’ best interests is identifying the middle ground. Below are a few tips to consider.
It’s said that it’s not the ventilation system that consumes the most energy in a building. It’s the appliances such as air conditioning systems and heating systems that are running to maintain the right temperature inside the building.
Yet it’s noteworthy that the amount of air entering the building through a ventilation system affects the amount of energy needed to keep the building comfortable.
It’s believed that the lack of ventilation will result in poor air quality, but too much ventilation will overwork the heating and cooling system, increasing energy consumption as a result.
To find the right balance, business owners should use an energy-efficient ventilation system that provides just the right amount of air while using less electric power.
Even so, since establishments should follow specific building codes and regulations to maintain a safe environment for employees and patrons, they can’t just decide the ventilation rate on their own.
So, to ensure that the ventilation system is working to its optimum level, entrepreneurs should consider a hybrid design approach that has smart controls that’ll maintain the right airflow level at all times without violating building codes.
Hybrid ventilation systems can control humidity, temperature, and even monitor the amount of natural light in a room or space. Most are designed to only run the ventilation system when needed, saving energy consumption.
Utilize an Airside Economizer
An economizer is a system that makes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units more efficient by introducing cool outside air when it’s cooler outside and allowing hot air to escape when it’s warmer outside.
This way, the HVAC unit doesn’t need to work as hard to cool or heat the building. Planners are recommended to install a duct-type airside economizer to make the economizer work.
Have an Energy Recovery Ventilator Installed
An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is a device that recovers heat from the exhaust air and uses it to preheat the fresh incoming air. This may help lessen the workload of an HVAC unit and you can save a lot of energy.
For the ERV to work, it needs to be connected to the exhaust system and the fresh air intake. The ERV will then pass the air through a heat exchanger and preheat the fresh air.
Better Ventilation Is Important, but So Is Energy Efficiency
For building planners, managers, and owners, both better ventilation and energy efficiency are equally important and should be in their top priorities in commercial space management.
It’s regarded that well-ventilated spaces can enjoy improved air quality. Meanwhile, a smart energy-efficient ventilation system can help cut down operating expenses.
Business owners are recommended to implement a hybrid design approach that merges both ventilation and energy efficiency strategies to create a comfortable environment for employees and patrons while also saving on energy costs and other related financial obligations.