On some days, Chicago’s summer heat can be unbearable. If you manage a commercial or residential building, it’s important to keep the common areas cool and comfortable for your residents or guests. But how you cool the common areas can also have a big impact on the energy efficiency of your building. Here are five tips to help you keep your building’s common areas cool this summer:
1. Use air conditioners and fans strategically.
Air conditioners and fans are great ways to keep your building’s common areas cool during the summer months. Make sure to keep the air conditioning set at a comfortable temperature and to clean or replace the filter regularly. Setting a larger “swing” temperature on the air conditioning can help it kick on less frequently and save energy while still keeping the temperature in a comfortable range.
2. Keep blinds and curtains closed.
Keeping your building’s blinds and curtains closed during the daytime can help to block out the sun’s heat, which can keep the temperatures in your common areas cooler. Of course, this comes at the downside of potentially having the common areas looking dark and gloomy, so if you do this, be sure to provide plenty of alternative lighting.
3. Use window film.
Window film is a clear plastic film that can be applied to windows to help reflect sunlight and reduce heat transfer. This is actually a pretty cost-effective way to be able to keep the windows open while keeping temperatures down in the common areas.
4. Take advantage of natural ventilation.
Even Chicago’s hottest months have a few cooler days. Take advantage of these days by opening windows and doors to let fresh air into the common areas. This will help to circulate the air and keep the temperature down. However, while doing this, stay aware of building security best practices, as you don’t want any intruders making their way inside.
5. Use plants.
Plants can help to cool your building’s common areas by transpiring water vapor into the air. Place them near windows or in areas where there is direct sunlight. They can also just have the psychological effect of making a place feel cooler.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your building’s common areas cool and comfortable this summer. If you have any additional questions about building management or maintenance, reach out to us!