Cooling systems are an essential operation within any commercial building, especially during Michigan’s warmer months when air conditioning can be vital to comfort and productivity.
Many commercial buildings have customized cooling systems, including central air, hybrid heat split systems, and packaged systems. Overall, these systems make up 9 percent of buildings’ energy use and are powered most commonly by electricity and natural gas.
Space cooling is another type of air conditioning system used in many commercial buildings across the U.S. It transfers heat from one space to another, using technologies including evaporative cooling through a central plant system usually powered by heat pumps. In total, space cooling systems account for around 15 percent of a building’s energy use.
There are a number of technologies that help to increase the energy efficiency of space cooling systems:
- District cooling is a centralized solution that provides cooling to several buildings in a given area
- Predictive cooling or enhanced controls uses sensors, weather data and programmable or smart thermostats to achieve desired temperature levels in a building
Interestingly, there are some tech-free trends that contribute to a building’s cooling efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ). Many companies are placing fresh plants in workplaces that absorb impurities in the air, while using CO2 to decrease temperature. Screened-in garage doors and large-scale windows allow fresh air into warehouses and factories and let natural light brighten up workspaces for employees.
For business owners working to ensure that their building is comfortable for their tenants, it’s also important to be mindful of IAQ.
Indoor air quality is made up of a variety of factors, including odor, air cleanliness and temperature control. Buildings with poor IAQ can introduce several of health challenges, including breathing problems, headaches and irritation of the ears, nose and throat. One way to prevent the effects of poor IAQ is to control pollutants, undertake mold and moisture prevention and improve ventilation.
Find out how to keep your cool this spring and summer by reading these Empowering Michigan blogs.